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UCLA Neurosurgery


Patient Stories

Share Your StoryPatients' Feelings and Stories About Their Neurosurgery Treatments

The Department of Neurosurgery is committed to providing the highest quality of patient care.

It is an honor and a privilege to share a few of our patients' stories here.

  • Learn what others have experienced and the types of treatment they have undergone.
  • Understand our patients' feelings about their treatments.
  • Increase your understanding of the issues facing your loved ones.
  • Submit your story
Jennifer's Story Jennifer's Story - Stroke, Moyamoya Disease
Jennifer Reilly was 28 years old when she began experiencing some odd symptoms. Half of her left hand went numb. She could move her fingers, but she couldn’t feel anything on the outer part of that hand. Because she was so young, Reilly assumed it was nothing. She was wrong. She was having a stroke.
Jennifer's StoryLink

Nikki's Story Nikki's Story - Project Epilepsy
Four-year-old Nikki lives in Perth, Australia. She was born healthy, but two years ago, she began suffering seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy. Despite medications, Nikki was still suffering up to 200 seizures every single day. Brain scans showed nothing and Nikki's parents were at their wits' end.
Nikki's Story Link
John Galvan John - Stroke Patient
Doctors at UCLA have developed a new way to treat a dangerous type of stroke where the blood vessel bursts deep in the brain. Dr. Neil Martin at UCLA is pioneering a minimally invasive way of reaching the hemorrhage, which is saving lives.
John's Story Link
Jennifer - Moyamoya disease Jennifer - Moyamoya disease
Moyamoya disease is a cerebrovascular condition that predisposes affected patients to suffer strokes and intracerebral hemorrhage in association with progressive narrowing of the intracranial portion of the carotid arteries.  This disease affects predominantly younger adults and pediatric patients who may experience symptoms of TIA (transient ischemic attacks). 
Read Jennifer's Story | Read Jennifer's Case History
Aiden - Sturge-Weber Syndrome  Aiden - Brain (Sturge-Weber Syndrome)
This rare congenital condition affects one in 50,000 Americans.  In 4-year-old Aiden's case, a deep purple birthmark on his face and scalp was the first sign that he had this rare syndrome.  The birth mark is associated with blood vessels within his brain that with seizures were slowly destroying cortex. Violent seizures threatened the destruction of the other hemisphere.
Read Aiden's Story
Mike - Spine  Mike - Spine
I was diagnosed with a rare spinal cord condition at the age of 31.  I live in Columbus, Ohio, but was encouraged to find the best medical center for treatment.  I began traveling around the country from hospital to hospital (including the Mayo Clinic, Mass General, the Cleveland Clinic, Cedars Sinai...) to see doctor after doctor in hopes of finding a treatment for my condition.  
Read Mike's Story
Read Mike's Case History
Lucy - Epilepsy and Tumor  Lucy - Epilepsy and Tumor
Our only daughter Lucy, who is now 12-years old, was diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis.  For the past ten years, we have treated her with medications as prescribed by her doctors.  But the last few years have been the most heart-wrenching years for Lucy and our family.  
Read Lucy's Story
Read Lucy's Case History
Robert - Brain Tumor Robert - Brain Tumor
My husband, Bob, was diagnosed with a brain tumor on May 16, 2004.  Bob's tumor is located in his right occipital cortex, the area of the brain that controls vision. The diagnosis was made after he began having visual seizures (he would see a kaleidoscope of colors and lights in his right eye). Since he was born blind in his left eye, visual issues with his right eye are taken very seriously.  
Read Robert's Story
Read Robert's Case History
April - Trigeminal Neuralgia April - Trigeminal Neuralgia
It all started a year and a half ago, a couple of weeks before a family trip to Las Vegas. I felt dental pain in my left lower jaw and went to the dentist. Dental X-rays did not show any problems, but I had begun grinding my teeth so the dentist made me a bite guard and gave me a prescription for Vicodin. He also sent me to an endodontist, but there was no indication that I needed a root canal.
Read April's Story
Read April's Case History
Diego - Brain Trauma Diego - Brain Trauma
On September 15, 2007, one week before I was to start attending school at UC San Diego, I fell from a moving car and underwent an emergency Craniectomy.
Read Diego's Story
Read Diego's Case History
Andrea - Brain AVM Andrea - Brain AVM
This year was a powerful one. I went from being a perfectly normal and healthy 41 year old gal to undergoing a critical brain surgery.
Read Andrea's Story
Read Andrea's Case History
LaShawn - Brain Tumor LaShawn - Brain Tumor
For a few months now LaShawn has experienced numbness and weakness on one side of her body. She underwent several tests and all came back negative and so they finally MRI'd her head and the next thing we know they are sending us down to Chico to see a Neurosurgeon.
Read LaShawn's Story
Lidia - Spine AVM Lidia - Spine AVM
On October 27, 2006, I received a shocking phone call. My neurologist said the results of a recent MRI showed inflammation in my thoracic spine and below. 
Read Lidia's Story
Read Lidia's Case History
Hank - Brain Tumor Hank - Brain Tumor
On May 8, 2003 our lives were forever changed. We received a phone call from our neurologist saying that Hank had a brain tumor.
Read Hank's Story
Read Hank's Case History
Jim - Spine Trauma Jim - Spine Trauma
August 28, 2006 is a day that my life changed forever. It’s a day that I have no recollection of. I only know what occurred by what others have told me and by the pictures and news footage that I have seen.
Read Jim's Story
Read Jim's Case History
Cathy - Brain Tumor Cathy - Brain Tumor
What could have been the end of my life ended up being a beginning to a new and improved self. On that day, I was diagnosed with a meningioma brain tumor on my right frontal lobe.
Read Cathy's Story
Read Cathy's Case History
Nichele - Spinabifida Nichele - Spinabifida
I would like to introduce you to our daughter, Nichele, who will be 10 years old in October. While she is in public school with her third grade classmates, no one would ever guess that she has had 24 surgeries.
Read Nichele's Story
View Nichele's Picture Gallery
Evelyn - Brain Tumor Evelyn - Brain Tumor
I met a new person on the road to recovery: myself. Awake? Asleep? It was hard to know. So much had happened, and here I was in a hospital bed. My husband, Frank was by my side.
Read Evelyn's Story
Read Evelyn's Case History
Anna - Brain AVM Anna - Brain AVM
At Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in February of 2006, as a 19 year old being treated for my schizoaffective disorder, it was discovered on an MRI and CT scan that I was born with an AVM (arterial venous malformation).
Read Anna's Story
Read Anna's Case History
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