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Kelly Stafford shares story of brain tumor diagnosis, 12-hour surgery

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DETROIT – Kelly Stafford is slowly returning to her normal life after a life changing diagnosis earlier this year.

Kelly, the wife of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, was diagnosed with acoustic neuroma, a slow-growing tumor on the main nerve leading from the inner ear to the brain.

Stafford underwent surgery that went from six hours to 12 hours. For the first time, she opened up about the diagnosis, surgery and recovery with Local 4.

'Here's your brain tumor'

Stafford said it all started when she began feeling lightheaded and dizzy during activities during the day.

"You know how they tell you to get up slowly, because you could be lightheaded and I've had that before," Stafford said. "When I got up, it was a completely different feeling. And the room just started spinning on me. I grabbed the bed a little bit and I sat down and I called the lady back in and asked will you bring me some water? Got some water, stood up, happened all over again."

After repeated episodes, Stafford decided to seek medical attention. At first, she went to an ER doctor, who prescribed her medicine for vertigo. But the symptoms persisted.

The Staffords were in California when the decided Kelly would get an MRI to see what was happening.


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