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Muskegon woman celebrates recovery after removal of tennis ball-sized brain tumor

Haley Constine and Neurosurgeon Dr. Bryan Figueroa
Posted at 7:55 AM, Dec 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-07 07:55:24-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A woman is celebrating an incredible recovery after doctors removed a tennis ball-sized tumor from her brain.

The Muskegon woman suddenly passed out during a volleyball game and soon after discovered the tumor had been growing her whole life.

Haley Constine told Fox 17 she thought she'd be in a wheelchair after her surgery, but her recovery went better than she and even her doctors expected.

"It was just scary, you know, thinking that I might not walk again, and that was, you know, before I even went into the surgery, like how my life was gonna be just completely different after this," said Haley Constine, who had a tennis ball-sized tumor removed from her brain.

Constine said her entire life changed in merely hours.

She passed out on a volleyball court and then found herself in the hospital, learning something was very wrong.

"It’s called a ‘meningioma tumor’. They’re typically non-cancerous, which is good news," said Constine.

The tumor, the size of a tennis ball, had blood vessels connected to her legs wrapped around it tightly.

"That was a shock, obviously, because I you know, here I am just young, vibrant, had never, like had any issues before," said Constine.

She was sent to Dr. Bryan Figueroa, a neurosurgeon at Trinity Health Saint Mary's

"We had to face potentially reality where life wouldn't be the same for her, and that was, that was probably harder than the surgery itself, for sure," said Trinity Health Saint Mary's Division Chief of Neurosurgery Dr. Bryan Figueroa.

After surgery she was admitted to Mary Free Bed for inpatient care and then a few weeks later moved to outpatient.

"She did recover quicker than anticipated. Our plan of care was longer than what she actually was here for," said Adam Diver, a physical therapist with Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.

"I hope that people look at this story and, and feel like we are a product of our motivation as much as our you know, resources, and that's so true in medicine," said Dr. Figueroa.

Her thoughts following her recovery were simple.

"We can always kind of make excuses for those types of things, but now I look back and I wonder, you know, was that because of the tumor?," said Constine.

Constine got a follow-up MRI in November, and there was no remaining tumor detected.

She's scheduled to have another check-up with her neurosurgeon next year.