Jess Wilson: "I Had Brain Surgery!"

Model Jessica Wilson bounces back from her grueling experience—and inspires us to face fear head on.
  |  Apr 7, 2010
as told to Angel Constantino * photo by Patrick Martires
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One night, when I was in my second year of high school, my mom just felt the need to go to my room while I was sleeping. She couldn't wake me up even after pushing a budging me. A few days later, I had a seizure in the middle of the night. My family tried to help but they couldn't do anything except wait for me to wake up.

I found out I had a brain tumor that had to be removed immediately. I had to completely shave my head for the operation. My sister, mom, and cousin went with me to the barber, and all of us broke down in tears when it was done.

I was in the hospital for a week. Days before the surgery, I went through a lot of tests, had around 50 injections, talked to doctors, and prepared myself. My family was with me the whole way. They would come into my room all teary-eyed but holding it back so I wouldn't see them crying. I'd get cards and gifts from my friends in school, and even my teachers came to check on me. It made me feel so much better knowing everyone cared.

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I remember waking up very early on the day of the surgery and being brought to another building in a wheelchair. I went into a room where I had to have screwdriver-like things drilled into my head to secure this huge, 20-pound metal helmet that would help the doctor locate exactly where my tumor was. I cried from the pain and wanted to yank it off. After that, I was brought to the operating room. I said goodbye to my family at the door.

I was sleep during the entire operation. Next thing I knew, I was all alone in a dark, cold room with tubes connected to every part of my body, huge bandages on my head, and painkillers going through my veins. I panicked because I was stranded in the bed and didn't know what was going on. I had no choice but to wait until a nurse and my mom came into the room. It was finally over.


I stayed in the hospital for a few days after the surgery to recover. I couldn't do much but sleep. Just getting up would make me dizzy, and I needed help doing everything. I couldn't walk and I couldn't move my left arm, hand, and leg. Since the tumor was on the right side of my brain, it affected my left limbs.

After leaving the hospital, I was on medication for a couple of months and had to go through therapy for my left limbs. On my 15th birthday, about a week after I left the hospital, my friends threw me a surprise party at home. It was so sweet!

Looking back, I can say that definitely learned a lot from the experience. Life is short and it can be taken away any second. Make the most out of the time you have now. Don't take things for granted—like grudges against people or truly hate someone because it's waste of time. I let things go easily because I'd rather not dwell on the past.


My advice for girls with problems like this is to face them head on. It's scary in the conquer your fears than to be strong. Remember that there's a solution to everything and never give up!

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