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multi-generational family

Blake Albertsen

Blake Alberston and family

From rare to recovery

When an abnormal tumor threatened a family’s future, they turned to EvergreenHealth’s comprehensive neurosurgical program to beat the odds.

It was a typical weekend trip to the grocery store for Blake and Crystal Albertsen and their three young sons.

But when the 37-year-old father suddenly lost feeling throughout the left side of his body, he knew something was seriously wrong.

“My first thought was that I was having a stroke or a heart attack,” Albertsen explained.

Given that he had never experienced anything like this before, the family dropped everything and headed to the ER to have him checked out right away.

An MRI at EvergreenHealth’s Redmond emergency department revealed a slow-growing schwannoma, an extremely rare tumor, resting near the brain stem and pushing on Albertsen’s spinal cord.

Both the size and position of the tumor posed a serious threat to Albertsen’s long-term quality of life - left untreated the tumor would undoubtedly lead to complete paralysis on both sides of his body, robbing him of the ability to walk or talk, let alone care for his family.

The right team for the best outcome

Within a week, the Albertsens met with EvergreenHealth neurosurgeons Dr. Shiveindra Jeyamohan, Dr. Peter Nora and orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Mark Freeborn.

Together, they reviewed their plan and explained how they would work together to navigate this complex surgery to enter Albertsen’s spine and carefully remove the tumor.

“Hearing the diagnosis was a total shock,” Blake admitted, “But the entire team’s compassion and assurance that I was going to get the highest quality care from the best doctors made me feel like we were in the right place.”

“That is the beauty of our comprehensive program - we can take on the most advanced cases and guide patients through a highly coordinated experience, from the initial diagnosis through treatment, recovery and rehabilitation,” Dr. Jeyamohan said.

“For a complex case like Blake’s, we assemble a multidisciplinary team of experts who collaborate throughout the entire procedure,” Dr. Nora explained. “It’s important to us for patients to know that they are receiving the benefit of many different specialists working together, who are all completely focused on our shared goal of achieving the most successful results.”

“Blake’s condition was very rare, but our team performed a successful surgery that gave this young family the best outcome we could hope for,” Dr. Jeyamohan said. “Not only did we remove the tumor, but his progress toward a full recovery has been fantastic.”

Learn about Neurosurgery at EvergreenHealth