Life saving surgery after chemotherapy

Margot Kim Image
Saturday, October 29, 2022
Life saving surgery after chemotherapy
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Chemotherapy can often make patients even sicker while they're being treated for cancer.

FRENSO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Ali Bello, 23, was living her dream - new job, great friends, and just having a good time, until...

"I got home one night and realized I had this pounding headache," Bello said.

Bello was diagnosed with leukemia. After a week of chemo, she developed a severe headache with vomiting. A cat scan showed bleeding in her brain.

"I had just had my chemo treatment and I had thrown up in one of the bedpans and just was feeling super ill," Bello said.

"This was because of her cancer and the chemotherapy drugs are given to try to cure her cancer," Neurosurgeon Babak Jahromi said.

Emergency medications didn't reduce the pressure.

"Because the bleeding was so large, things spiraled out very, very quickly," Jahromi said. "She was sliding deeper into a coma to a point where she was near death."

Bello almost died twice that night.

Jahromi says he performed a skull flap surgery faster than he had ever done before, removing a large portion of Bello's skull, making room for her brain to swell and hopefully recover without any more damage.

Ali had to relearn how to use her left side of her body and after a number of weeks, she was able to get back on chemo.

Now, two years out, Bello is cancer free.

"I think it would just be great to get back my life and be able to do things on my own and get back to my running, and my boxing, and all those things that I love," Bello said.

"From someone who was at death's doorstep to now being able to swim laps in a pool, despite her disability is just a miracle," Jahromi said.