Yadira Rostro is a mother from Garland, Texas. She was a busy mom who always had something to do. In 2015, the 31-year-old mother started having headaches. At first, she thought that she was having migraines. There were times that the pain was so bad that it was affecting her eyesight. She didn’t know what was wrong with her, but she had a feeling that it was serious.
When Yadira’s headaches continued, and they seemed to be getting worse, she decided to see a doctor to figure out what was wrong. If it was migraines that were causing her pain, she could get something to treat them. She went to Methodist Dallas Medical Center, and the doctors there ordered a CT scan. The doctors worried that due to her symptoms that she was suffering from a brain tumor.
When the doctors checked the scans, they discovered that there was an obstruction that was preventing spinal fluid from flowing into her brain. To treat the immediate symptoms, they inserted a catheter to relieve the pressure. Next, they ordered an MRI to see what was causing the blockage. They assumed that it was a tumor that was causing the blockage, but they were wrong. The scans showed the Yadira had a group of sacs at the base of her brain. What shocked them, even more, was that they looked like tapeworm eggs. She battled severe headaches for almost a year. Then doctors took a brain scan and saw eight eggs.
An Infections Disease Specialist
Yadira’s doctors had to consult with an infectious disease specialist to come up with a plan to remove the larvae. They called in the surgeon and got to work. First, they had to put Yadira to sleep so that they could remove part of her skill. They needed to see the base of her brain which is where the eggs were. When they got in, they found eight tapeworm eggs.
Removing the Eggs
Yadira’s neurosurgeon, Dr. Richard Meyrat had to split her cerebellum after removing her skill. It was then that he could see the sacs. The medical team went in with the help of a microscope, and they removed all of the eggs. Each one looked like tiny eggs. They had a clear sac, and inside, there were small tapeworms. The doctors got the whole surgery on video.
Happy To Be Alive
Yadira knew that her surgery was recorded, but she chose not to watch it. She says that she is just happy to be alive and free from her headaches. Now that the eggs were out of her brain, the fluid was able to enter her skull. She was thrilled that the doctors figured out what was wrong with her and she could live a pain-free life again.
How Did Worms Get Into Her Brain
After the surgery, Yadira gave some thought to how the eggs ended up in her brain in the first place. She had taken a trip to Mexico with her family two years earlier. Her doctors assumed that she ate some contaminated food and the parasite traveled through her bloodstream and into her brain.
According to the World Health Organization, tapeworm infections are common in rural regions. These types of infections can also be caused by eating undercooked meat. If food or water comes into contact with an infected animal or person, it can also cause this type of infection. This is why it is so important to watch what you eat and drink, while home or traveling abroad.
Not Uncommon In the United States
Most people think that the idea of tapeworms in the brain is something out of a science fiction movie. It is actually more common than these people think. Each year, around 1,000 Americans end up in the hospital with the same type of infection that Yadira was suffering from. Unfortunately, not everyone is as lucky as Yadira was. Many people who have worms or eggs in their brain don’t find out before it is too late. All over the world, hundreds of people die from this affliction. Fortunately, Yadira isn’t one of these people. She got the treatment that she needed in time to save her life.
According to the United States Center for Disease Control, the treatment for this type of infection is a “tremendous economic burden.” This is because the average cost to remove tapeworms and their eggs is $37,600. Fortunately, Yadira is on her way to a full recovery. She is thankful that the doctors took her symptoms seriously and they got to the bottom of her illness. He is also thankful to God that he kept her safe.