Patient Story: What Started Out As a Mild Headache Quickly Turned Into A Medical Emergency.

While going about his usual routine on a warm summer day, Norbert Silva began to experience a mild headache.  As the day progressed, his symptoms grew more severe.  Hoping desperately to find some relief, Mr. Silva decided to take a few painkillers but still, the pain intensified.

Shortly after, Mr. Silva began to vomit. His body was warning him that something was terribly wrong. He immediately went to a local hospital to seek medical attention.

Following a thorough examination, it was decided by doctors to transfer Mr. Silva to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center to further investigate a suspected tumor. “I remember feeling nervous, everything was happening so fast,” shared Mr. Silva.

Upon his arrival at Jamaica Hospital, the E.R. team worked quickly to conduct a series of diagnostic tests. It was discovered that Mr. Silva developed a large tumor in the brain which was compressing his optic and oculomotor nerves.  “Throughout this process, the staff made it a priority to keep me informed and as comfortable as they could,” said Mr. Silva.

Shortly after this discovery was made, Mr. Silva realized that his vision was becoming blurry, he was rapidly losing the ability to see and move his right eye. “I was scared but all I could think about was my family. Thinking of them helped me to build up my courage,” he said.  

Neurosurgeon Dr. Amrit Chiluwal was consulted to further assess Mr. Silva’s condition and it was determined that surgery should be performed right away. “Dr. Chiluwal visited me and explained why I needed surgery and what to expect. I felt confident that he would take good care of me,” said Mr. Silva.

Mr. Silva’s surgery was performed by Dr. Chiluwal and fellow neurosurgeons Dr. Shamik Chakraborty and Dr. Mohsen Nouri.  The operation was successful thanks to the physicians’ expert training. “Our goal was the remove the tumor from the brain and decompress the nerves safely and in the least invasive manner possible,” shared Dr. Chiluwal. “Within 24 hours after surgery the patient’s vision was back to normal and he was able to move his right eye normally.”

Mr. Silva had a positive recovery in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). He said, “Everyone involved in my care treated me well.  The nurses in the ICU were amazing.  Dr. Chiluwal came to see me in the day and night. He’s a nice guy, a great doctor.”

Mr. Silva was released from the hospital just in time to celebrate his birthday. “I thank Dr. Chiluwal and the entire team for giving me the opportunity to celebrate another year of my life. I got to go home and see my family,” shared Mr. Silva,

Today, life is back to normal for Mr. Silva. He reports that his vision is now better than it was before and that he cherishes each day. His advice to others is to listen to their bodies and “don’t delay going to the E.R. if something does not feel right.”