At 28 years old, Jessica Moskowitz had everything going for her. A career as a digital producer with CNN, great friends, close family, and a reputation for some great Halloween costumes. This made it even more shocking when she had symptoms that appeared to be a stroke while at work one morning.
That “stroke” turned out to be a mini seizure, and further tests showed a brain tumor. Worry turned into fear and dread as she lay alone in her hospital bed.
Moskowitz recounts her upsetting experience in CNN.com’s “First Person.” Unfortunately, the comfort and hope she longed for did not come to her bedside in the days following what appeared to be a seizure caused by the tumor. But Moskowitz was resourceful and knew that she could “shop around” for the neurosurgeon who seemed to have the best handle on her case – and with the best bedside manner.
Her shopping landed her at Columbia University Medical Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital where she met with Dr. Jeffrey N. Bruce, MD. He explained that her tumor, a benign meningioma, would take about seven hours to remove. Pleased with Dr. Bruce’s command of her condition and his confidence, Moskowitz scheduled her surgery.
She had good reason to be pleased with her selection of Dr. Bruce to perform her surgery. As Co-director of the Brain Tumor Center, Dr. Bruce is a leading authority on complex tumors of the brain and skull base. Named one of the U.S. News and World Report Top Doctors, Dr. Bruce is highly skilled in minimally invasive techniques, stereotactic surgery and cutting edge approaches. This expertise allows him to tailor treatments to the characteristics of each patient and their specific tumor.
Moskowitz crammed a lot of living into the days leading up to her surgery, including a Halloween-Birthday-Thanksgiving celebration. She wore a Wonder Woman costume which turned out to be more reality than costume.
After seven days in the hospital, Moskowitz headed straight to in-patient rehab. Following a week of intensive therapy there, she graduated to out-patient rehab. The director of that program declared that Moskowitz had the best recovery she’d seen in her 20-year career. Wonder Woman indeed.
This experience has given Moskowitz a renewed joy in living. She is back to a normal work schedule and says she appreciates the little things in life and looks forward to what the future holds. As a matter of fact, she’s busy planning her next Halloween costume.
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