WAYCROSS, GA (April, 2018) – Ansley Morgan, a happy and healthy 7-year-old, had been experiencing severe headaches for a month when her family brought her to their local doctor of optometry hoping he could help identify the problem. The doctor, Jarrod Griffis of American Eyecare Center in Waycross, diagnosed the problem. Ansley was suffering from papilledema, a conditioned defined by swelling of the optic nerve within the eye brought on by increased pressure in or around the brain. In Ansley's case, the increase in pressure was due to a benign tumor.
Thanks to Dr. Griffis’s diagnosis and recommendation that the family schedule an MRI immediately, Ansley is fighting the tumor with treatments that included surgery and receiving 30 radiation treatments.
“Ansley was always healthy and we simply didn’t know what was going on,” said Chelscy Morgan, Ansley’s stepmother. “We thought it might be allergies. We decided to cover all of the bases and bring her to Dr. Griffis for a comprehensive eye examination. On the day we went to see him we literally had no idea that he would talk to us about Ansley possibly having a brain tumor.
“We are very fortunate that Dr. Griffis was able to find it when he did,” Morgan said. “From the research I've done, these kinds of tumors are hard to detect. Without that eye exam, matters may have been much worse.We really appreciate every piece of advice he gave us.”
Following her visit to Dr. Griffis, Ansley experienced another severe headache and her parents took her to Wayne Memorial Hospital in Jesup for a CT, which identified the location of the mass. She was then transported by ambulance to Memorial Hospital in Savannah where a MRI identified that she had a growth on the non-hormone producing part of her pituitary gland made up of a tumor and fluid-filled cyst. She then had surgery where doctors drained the cyst and removed parts of the tumor for testing.
After her first surgery but prior to radiation a second tumor that was growing out toward her optic nerve was found. Fortunately, by killing off active cells within the tumor, the radiation treatments have nearly brought the growth to a stop.
In response to overwhelming community support, the family has started a forum to help keep people informed via https://www.facebook.com/Fight-Like-Ansley-570889383255728/?hc_ref=ARTWkDXZbHcckj7VftCMTn1XODKG8U8eIW3Adm7vK_c_5-e_M8HRrGFrvPJ668G6dUU&fref=nf. Those wanting to help the family with medical expenses can visit https://www.gofundme.com/ansleys-brain-tumor .