Indiana mom returns to active lifestyle following brain tumor surgery at Ascension St. Vincent | Ascension

Indiana mom returns to active lifestyle following brain tumor surgery at Ascension St. Vincent

After returning home from a weekend trip, RaNae Isaak experienced severe stiffness of her left arm and leg, and didn’t have an appetite. She realized something was wrong.

“I kept having episodes where I would feel lightheaded and then, all of a sudden, I couldn’t control the left side of my body,” RaNae said.

RaNae called the medical clinic at her work and was directed to go to the ER.

Following multiple tests, a CT scan revealed a tumor in her brain.

RaNae was transported to Ascension St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, where she received additional testing and met with her care team including neurosurgeons. After discussing various options with her doctors, she decided to have surgery to remove the tumor.

“I was 37 years old at that time and didn’t want to keep experiencing those episodes,” RaNae said. “For my active pace of life, I knew I needed to do something about it.”

RaNae had surgery at Ascension St. Vincent Hospital, followed by physical therapy and chemotherapy, as a precautionary measure. She said the first day she returned home, she went for a run outside. She described her surgeon’s hands as “miracle workers.”

“I can’t speak highly enough about my entire care team and what they did for me,” RaNae said. “Following surgery, when I couldn’t do much for myself, my caregivers were so kind. They helped me with everything and reassured me that I was going to get through it.”

RaNae’s neurosurgeon, Charles Kulwin, MD, specializes in complex cranial conditions, neurosurgical disease and spine disorders.

“It can be hard to go on about life normally after finding out you have a brain tumor,” said Dr. Kulwin. “Being able to guide patients through that initial discussion, their tumor treatment, and getting their life going again is rewarding each and every time.”

RaNae said her life has returned to normal. She works full-time, coaches basketball, runs, rides dirt bikes and graduated with her MBA. She encourages others to seek medical care if they notice something unusual with their health.

“Your body is telling you something when you don’t have an appetite or when your muscles are doing something your brain doesn’t tell them to do,” she said. “I look at this experience as a way I can help others, and I believe God had this happen to me so I could do just that.”

Ascension St. Vincent offers the highest level of care for patients with even the most complex brain tumors. When you are diagnosed with a brain or spine condition, you want the best care. Ascension St. Vincent in Indianapolis is the first neurosurgery program in Indiana designated with The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Brain Tumor Care. And, it became just the fifth program in the country with this designation.

When you choose Ascension St. Vincent, you will have a team of highly trained and experienced neurologists, neurosurgeons, nurses and physical therapists. Your neurosurgeon works with a team of specialists and is part of an integrated national network of doctors, sharing best practices, knowledge and research.

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