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For Ali Hazlett, life as a busy mom and owner of her own cosmetics company is back on track. But it took a long time to get here.
Shortly after the birth of her third child in April 2018, Ali started experiencing cloudy vision in her left eye that had progressively worsened by the end of the year. She made an appointment with Dr. Marc Dinkin, a neuro-ophthalmologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medicine, and an MRI revealed a startling diagnosis – a meningioma, or tumor emanating from the membranes surrounding her brain and spinal cord.
She was immediately referred to neurosurgeon Dr. Theodore Schwartz, who in January 2019 removed most of Ali’s tumor in a minimally invasive procedure through her nose. Thankfully it was benign, and in the months that followed, Ali was symptom-free with her vision restored.
But the COVID 19 pandemic forced Ali to delay her follow-up appointments and it wasn’t until the following January – two years after her initial surgery – that another MRI revealed the tiny remnant of her original mass had grown. That’s when Dr. Schwartz performed a second novel procedure through her eyebrow to remove what remained of the tumor.
Ali will need to undergo annual brain MRIs and regular eye exams well into the future, but she credits her care team with protecting both her vision and way of life: “My doctors were personally invested in me. Considering this was my first time seeking care at NYP, that’s just the best feeling."