"The first symptom she had was a very intense headache that couldn't be treated by any type of analgesic, then she started vomiting, and we decided to take her to a hospital in Roatán," said Dr. Ashley Gutiérrez, the patient's daughter.
A brain scan showed that Flowers had what is known as a meningioma, which is a benign tumor. The mass was located in the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain at the back of the skull. Its function is to coordinate and regulate muscular activity. Her tumor was pressing on an important part of the brain that controls actions such as swallowing, facial expressions and balance.
While this kind of tumor is not considered highly dangerous or malignant, the symptoms she was having were negatively impacting Flowers' quality of life in significant ways. Her family was anxious to find effective treatment.
Following extensive research, the family entrusted Flowers' care to Dr. Susheel Wadhwa, Neurosurgeon and Head of the Neurosurgery Department at Health City Cayman Islands.
According to Dr. Wadhwa, the surgery was a challenging one due to the complicated location of the tumor, however, the advanced technology available at Health City could ensure a safe procedure and the likelihood of a positive outcome.
Flowers' daughter explained the family's reasons for choosing Health City out of the available options. "In Honduras, there are specialists who can treat this type of tumor, but our priority was to give my mother the best type of care. That's why we decided to come to Health City because of the high technology available here and the excellent service they offer," Dr. Gutiérrez said.
Health City Cayman Islands is also easily accessible to patients from Roatán, with biweekly flights available on Cayman Airways. Historically, there have been strong cultural links between the Cayman Islands and the Bay Islands, with several Caymanian families settling in the Bay Islands in the late 19th century. The Bay Islands were also a British colony until 1859, and English is still commonly spoken.
Thanks to the support of her relatives, neighbors and churches from Roatán, funds were raised for Flowers to be treated at the Cayman Islands facility.
Once at Health City, the tumor was completely and safely removed. Just a few days after the surgery, Flowers recovered her balance and the headaches were gone. "Her intervention was completely successful, and she returned home earlier than we expected," said Dr. Wadhwa.
Six months after her intervention, Flowers received a routine checkup by Dr. Wadhwa, who is also affectionately known as Dr. Susheel to his patients, during one of his visits to the island of Roatán. A follow-up MRI scan of her brain also confirmed that the tumor had not returned. The patient was in perfect health, and now able to carry out her daily activities and recover her quality of life.
"God did this operation together with Dr. Susheel, I thank him for everything. I feel very well, I do not have any complaints," she gratefully affirmed.