Dad walks daughter down the aisle just days after high-risk brain surgery

Posted at 12:13 AM, Mar 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-17 01:10:13-04

OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma father underwent a high-risk brain surgery just days before his daughter's wedding but he didn't let the procedure stop him from walking her down the aisle.

It all started after Walter Thompson said that he lost some feeling on his left-hand side.

"I had noticed that I couldn`t button my shirt sleeves," he told KFOR. "I noticed my foot would tap a little on the front."

An MRI revealed there was a big problem. Doctors discovered a fist-sized, internal capsule glioma tumor, right in the middle of his brain.

Thompson said many doctors told him the tumor was inoperable, but one doctor saw it differently.

Dr.  Mike Sughrue, a neurosurgeon with The Stephenson Cancer Center in Oklahoma City, is one of the few doctors who performs awake brain surgeries.

That’s what Thompson needed.

"I said you have one of the most difficult brain tumors we do," Dr. Sughrue said. "There's a real high chance, if not almost a certainty, that we`re going to paralyze you trying to take this out."

Besides the dangers of the surgery, another problem was, Thompson’s daughter was getting married three days after the procedure.

Officials doubted he would be healthy enough to attend, even in a best case scenario.

Thompson had the surgery, spending the duration of operation talking with doctors and moving pegs around a peg board. Those tasks help show the surgeon which areas to avoid in the brain.

"Never have I felt anything like that sir, never," Thomspon said.

To say the surgery was a success is an understatement.

Three days after the high-risk surgery, Thompson walked his daughter Ruth-Ann down the aisle on her wedding day.

"I didn’t think I was gonna be able to walk her. That was a troubling thing in my heart," Thompson said. "The day God laid her in my arms, she’s a precious young lady, and I’ve looked forward to this day."