Kelly Stafford, wife of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, revealed Tuesday she nearly lost her hearing during the 12-hour operation to have a brain tumor removed last month.
Stafford took to Instagram to update her followers on her recovery, praising her University of Michigan Hospital surgeons as her own "Dream Team."
She called lead surgeon Dr. B. Gregory Thompson her Michael Jordan, and Dr. Steven Telian her Scottie Pippen.
Stafford wrote, in part:
When he (Thompson) opened me up, he saw an "anomalous" artery that is normally not there. In his 2000 cases, he had seen it ONE other time. BUT bc it was so rare, he & his team wrote a paper on it for other surgeons. Then, God sent him me & although surprised when he cut in to see the artery, he was confident & prepared.
He took his time & was patient. There was a moment when they thought I might have lost my hearing completely. He made everyone & everything stop, they all sat, & waited for some time.. the audio wave returned. His patience saved my hearing, as well as my face.
You read right, he PRESERVED MY HEARING!
Stafford said when she was first was diagnosed with a non-cancerous brain tumor, she and Matthew visited doctors all over the country before they met with Thompson. She was drawn to Thompson, she wrote, not just because of the 2,000 similar surgeries that he had performed, but also, "when I spoke w/ him, he reminded me of my dad. He truly cared & was empathetic, which meant so much to me."
The surgery, which can have complications including hearing loss and facial paralysis, was supposed to last six hours, but ended up lasting 12, with Thompson keeping Matthew updated throughout the procedure.
Kelly Stafford experienced some complications a week after the surgery, and ended up back in the hospital — with Thompson making the hour drive to check in on her.
"I mean how amazing is that?" Kelly Stafford wrote. "I will forever be in debt to this man & his team. I can’t express how grateful I am for him.. his kindness, empathy, patience, knowledge, & steady hands. Thank u Dr. Thompson, thank u so much to u & your team."
Kelly Stafford went on to call Thompson, Telian and the other surgeons "MVPs."