Milwaukee nurse undergoes surgery to remove grapefruit-size brain tumor

Posted at 8:45 PM, Mar 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-09 22:11:50-05
Mary Stafford sat and smiled as she talked about life after brain surgery, but six months ago that smile was nowhere to be found.
She found out she had a large brain tumor about the size of a grapefruit. 
"I didn't think there was anything medically wrong," Mary said.
Over time, Mary's family, coworkers, and her husband Jeff noticed she wasn't herself.
"She's always laughing and joking and everything, but then she lost it," said Jeff Stafford.
"I couldn't imagine how she possibly could be interpreting our world," said Dr. Amin Kassam, Neurosurgeon at Aurora Health Care.
Stafford explains she was struggling through work and classes for her bachelor's degree when she was diagnosed with the benign tumor.
"I didn't have any reaction, it didn't upset me, anything," Mary said.
Mary's tumor sat on the part of her brain that controls personality. She had awake brain surgery to fix it.
"The Mary about halfway through the operation was different than the Mary that went in," Kassam said. 
Even wrapped in bandages after brain surgery, Mary's smile was back. Now she's back enjoying her granddaughter, who she once avoided.
“Having the feeling of enjoyment is the big thing and I love to spend time with her, she's a little angel," Mary said.
Mary hopes to be cleared and back to work at the end of the month at St. Luke's Hospital.

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