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January 29th, 2009
01:10 PM ET

Brain surgeon reads CNN article, saves boy’s life

MRI scan pre-operation: The boy's extremely large tumor was located right in the center of the brain.

MRI scan pre-operation: The boy's extremely large tumor was located right in the center of the brain.

Anouk Lorie
For CNN

A brain surgeon performed what he called a "life-saving" surgery on a teenager by removing a large brain tumor using a method he read about on CNN.com just three days earlier.

Dr. Thomas Ellis, a senior neurosurgeon at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina, the United States, said he had become "very demoralized" after an unsuccessful six-hour operation to remove a tumor from a 19-year-old named Brandon.

"I had had to give the boy's mother the bad news and that is not something I am used to. She was crying and it was very hard. Your story truly came at the perfect time," Ellis said.

"I am inclined to believe that it is the work of God that I came across your article that very night," the surgeon told CNN.

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soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Vernon, Lancaster, Ca.

    My wife was able to diagnose a mystery disease by watching an article on TV. This is the one great thing about the various public communications and especially the internet. I know of people who have self diagnosed their illness by searching on the internet after a bunch of doctors had written them off as mentally unstable. If you believe in yourself and try hard you can find answers that even the experts are unaware of. When you reach the fork in the road, take it.

    January 30, 2009 at 5:23 am |
  2. Vernon, Lancaster, Ca.

    This is the one great thing about the various public communications and especially the internet. I know of people who have self diagnosed their illness by searching on the internet after a bunch of doctors had written them off as mentally unstable. If you believe in yourself and try hard you can find answers that even the experts are unaware of. When you reach the fork in the road, take it.

    January 30, 2009 at 5:21 am |
  3. Kent, Illinois

    Wonderful.....

    January 29, 2009 at 11:22 pm |
  4. Rocki

    Our son died at a Cubs game with this same tumor on July 12, 2006 at the age of 25. He also had terrible headaches and was told he had migrain headaches I would give anything to have him back again. Praise God this surgeon was able to save this young man's life.

    January 29, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  5. sarah

    Wow i love reading stories like this. i get so sick of politics at times. its good to talk abt other things that are so important in life

    January 29, 2009 at 9:29 pm |
  6. Annie Kate

    Its amazing what great things can be accomplished when people have access to the information that they need. Life is sometimes dependent on a string of lucky breaks – this story illustrates that perfectly. Whoever wrote the article on the tool for CNN should feel very grateful and excited that their report had such a positive outcome.

    January 29, 2009 at 8:10 pm |
  7. EJ (USA)

    Speaking of brain surgeons, when is Dr. Gupta going to be confirmed as Surgeon General?

    January 29, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  8. Ratna, New York, NY

    Truly Amazing 😀

    January 29, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  9. Lisa Schwabe

    So what exactly did Dr. Ellis do? What was the lifesaving method that saved the boy's life?

    January 29, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  10. Cheryl, RI

    It's so great to read some good news for a change!!

    January 29, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  11. Charlotte D

    What a wonderful story to brighten a bad news day in CA. Thank you. And praise be for dedicated doctors like Dr. Ellis. I will look for this storyline in an upcoming episode of "House."

    January 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  12. Adriana R M Atlanta,Ga

    Amazing !!!

    January 29, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  13. DEEPAK MATHUR

    It is a good story.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  14. Jo Ann

    So where did CNN come across this information about this device and the procedure? It had to have been previously written up in medical journals.

    Although I am glad that this information helped this boy it is a little frightening that this doctor was so uninformed that he had to rely on surfing the CNN site for medical information. Maybe if he had spent more time keeping up on the latest medical procedures he could have acted sooner and saved this boy and his family a lot of unnecessary suffering.

    Jo Ann
    North Royalton, Ohio

    January 29, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  15. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    A great end to a tragic story---however--and I don't mean to be critical or insensitive----if my brain surgeon had to read an article on CNN to save my life----I would surely be searching for a second opinion. This sound to bazar..

    January 29, 2009 at 1:19 pm |

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