March 8, 2019

Brain Surgery: Hope for a Bright Future

Frank Williams

Frank Williams

Frank Williams appeared to be the picture of good health. An avid golfer, Williams also enjoyed bicycling and weight lifting. And at only 46 he showed no signs of slowing down.

However, that very same night, Williams’ life took an unexpected turn. While getting ready for bed, he experienced a seizure and lost consciousness. His wife, Rhonda, called 911, and what followed took their lives down a path they never imagined.

After they ran some tests, the doctor came in and told me that I had a brain tumor,Williams said. The doctor informed him that while the tumor was probably benign, it was deeply embedded and definitely inoperable. He was prescribed seizure medication and discharged.

Fortunately for Williams, a friend recommended that he get a second opinion from Dr. M. Gazi Yasargil, professor of neurosurgery at UAMS. Internationally recognized for his expertise in disorders of the brain and central nervous system, Yasargil was named Neurosurgeon of the Century in 1999.

After reviewing his condition, Yasargil told Williams exactly what he hoped to hear. “Dr. Yasargil said that he felt sure he could remove the tumor and that I could lead a normal life. It felt like a miracle to hear those words,” Williams said.

Yasargil successfully removed the tumor but in the process made the unexpected discovery that it was a moderate grade tumor that would require radiation and chemotherapy.

After successful treatment, Williams was back to a normal routine and enjoying time with his friends and family. “I’m still taking it easy,” he said. “I don’t get to work or exercise the way I used to, but I’m just so happy to be here.”

He hopes his experience will help others see the value of second opinions. “Don’t ever give up. If you’re not happy with a diagnosis or a prognosis, don’t stop until you’ve exhausted all of your options,” he said.

“I can’t thank UAMS enough for giving me the chance to keep on living and loving my wife and kids.”