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 rare cancer 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 Salmon Arm 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 was undergoing a spinal fusion surgery on Tuesday, Jan. 26, which 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

CancerSalmon Arm

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

Just Posted

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Princeton has seen a 22 per cent drop in drug overdose fatalities in 2020. (File photo)
While B.C. overdose deaths soar, Princeton made a recovery in 2020

Between 2018 and 2020, eight Princeton residents died of suspected overdose.

Send your letter to the editor via email to news@summerlandreview.com. Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.
LETTER: Options available for medical care

Telephone and online methods allow people to contact doctors

Youth from Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton and the Kootenays were able to dig into two evenings of online learning and connection through United Way Southern Interior B.C.’s <CODE>anagan program. (Submitted)<code> </code>
CODEanagan gives youth a chance to learn about technology

The youth, aged 12 to 21, built their own WordPress sites and developed blogging ideas

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson in the outfit that got her sent home from school on Feb. 23, 2021
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here are the stories that made waves in the Okanagan-Shuswap

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Arrow Lakes Caribou Society said the new caribou pen near the Nakusp Hotsprings is close to completion. (Submitted)
Maternity caribou pen near Nakusp inches closer to fruition

While Nakusp recently approved the project’s lease, caribou captures are delayed due to COVID-19

BC Housing has proposed that the emergency winter shelter at Victory Church at 352 Winnipeg Street be extended as a shelter until March 31, 2022. It was originally intended to be open until April 1, 2021. (Jesse Day - Western News)
One more year of ‘temporary’ homeless shelter in Penticton?

BC Housing has applied to extend Victory Church as a shelter for those experiencing homelessness

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

Most Read