Salmon Arm’s Halle Krawczyk gives a thumbs up following surgery on Jan. 22 in Pittsburgh, her second of three battling an extremely rare form of cancer that formed tumours on her two upper vertebrae and the clivus behind the nose. (Contributed)

Salmon Arm’s Halle Krawczyk gives a thumbs up following surgery on Jan. 22 in Pittsburgh, her second of three battling an extremely rare form of cancer that formed tumours on her two upper vertebrae and the clivus behind the nose. (Contributed)

‘Absolutely perfect:’ Salmon Arm girl’s surgeries for tumour exceed expectations

Halle Krawczyk doing well, mom credits hundreds of people praying for making the difference

“Absolutely perfect” is how Halle Krawczyk’s mom Carolyn describes her daughter’s surgeries in Pittsburgh.

“Basically, they’ve gone better than expected and we are very hopeful.”

Halle, daughter of Carolyn and Matt, and sister to Hunter, had surgeries on Jan. 20 and 22 to remove a tumour on two upper vertebrae and the clivus behind the nose. Halle has a rare cancer called ‘poorly differentiated chordoma.’

She and her family travelled to the United States in early January to quarantine and await surgery by a world-renowned doctor and his team in Pittsburgh who are best qualified to perform the rare pediatric surgery.

Carolyn said the doctors believe they got all the tumour in the two surgeries.

On Monday, Jan. 25, Halle was permitted to try and walk the ward. She hasn’t needed a feeding tube and can eat on her own. Her nerves are intact, she didn’t lose the use of her tongue or swallowing and she isn’t having problems with vision.

Carolyn said Halle is in a neck brace as the doctors removed the right side of most of the C1 and C2 vertebrae because they were so eroded by the disease.

Read more: Salmon Arm’s Krawczyk family in Pittsburgh awaiting surgeries for Halle

Read more: Man who faced terminal prognosis offers hope to 12-year-old Salmon Arm girl

Halle is a gymnast and doctors said her strength going into the surgery has helped her immensely.

“She’s doing remarkably…,” Carolyn said. “She can even lift her own head now instead of needing nurses to help her sit up.”

Although doctors removed all of the tumour, they couldn’t make clean margins as they normally would in removing cancerous tumours. “Which is why it’s important to get to Boston as soon as she has healed enough in order for proton beam radiation to take care of the remaining cells that are not visible,” Carolyn explained.

She added that Halle is still uncomfortable and on heavy pain control but that’s to be expected with the severity of what she’s just accomplished.

“Halle’s spirit has remained high and she’s handling this like a champ. After surgery 2, while coming out of anesthetic, she whispered, ‘How did I do?’ (I basically told her she championed everything) and she smiled and whispered with eyes barely opened, while waving her hand, ‘Bye bye tumour.’

“She’s remarkable strong, made of pure grit, and determination! She’s quite amazing!”

Halle undergoes a spinal fusion surgery on Tuesday, Jan. 26, what Carolyn describes as her third and hopefully last surgery.

She is grateful for all the people who have been offering their support to her family.

“I’m shocked to be able to say that I truly believe it has been the hundreds of people praying that has made the difference. There were quite a few risks involved. None of them happened.”


marthawickett@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

#Salmon ArmCancer

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This Dec. 2, 2020, file photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. (Johnson & Johnson via AP)
Interior Health notes 80 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

108 people in the region have died from the virus

This conceptual rendering shows 60 units of student housing at the Salmon Arm campus of Okanagan College expected to be constructed in 2022. (Okanagan College image)
Student housing to be built on Okanagan College Salmon Arm campus

Province announces 60 beds to help ease housing shortage in community

The District of Sicamous is being asked to pull a resolution from the Eagle Valley Snowmobile Club to keep loggers off managed sledding trails in the winter. (Jim Elliot-Eagle Valley News)
Sicamous snowmobile club pulls request to keep loggers off sled trails in winter

Resolution doesn’t get backing of BC Snowmobile Federation

The SASCU Recreation Centre will serve as a COVID-19 mass immunization clinic starting on March 15, 2021. (File photo)
Salmon Arm rec centre to serve as COVID-19 vaccination hub

Appointments being booked for seniors ages 90 and over, Indigenous persons 65 and over

Carson Meikle prepares a hot beverage while his mother, Jenna Meikle, is busy in the background at The Night Cafe, located at 146 Lakeshore Drive. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Artistic Salmon Arm entrepreneurs branch into culinary arts with The Night Café

Adam and Jenna Meikle grateful for ongoing community support

Five Kelowna writers are featured in an anthology that launched in time for International Women's Day. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
International Women’s Day: Book exploring fears features Kelowna writers

The book has launched in time for International Women’s Day

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron (41) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (43) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Monday, March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Captain Clutch: Horvat nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Habs 2-1

Vancouver, Montreal tangle again on Wednesday

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, an Okanagan based-law practice, and provides Kelowna Capital News with weekly stories from the world of local, national and international law. (Contributed)
Kootnekoff: Royal Dismissal

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

(File photo)
RCMP seek witnesses after 2 different reports of man chasing children in Kelowna

Both incidents occured around Dougall Road in Rutland

Most Read