New brain surgery center at Baptist Health Paducah saves hospital administrator

She's someone who's reported on many medical breakthroughs over the years and shared the stories of local people fighting to stay well.

Now Bonnie Schrock, the chief operating officer at Baptist Health Paducah, is sharing he own medical story. It's one every working mom knows all too well. Life is stressful. It can be hard on our health. So she ignored some troubling signs over the past several months that were telling her she needed to see a doctor. This hospital COO and former WPSD anchor was having trouble speaking, always searching for the right words.

"I knew what I wanted to say, but being able to get it out of my mouth was another matter," Schrock says.

She did her best to hide the problem until one day, after a meeting, she realized she couldn't do her job.

"I wrote three simple emails, and I kept typing the same sentence over and over because it was full of spelling errors and syntax errors," Schrock said.

It turned out that Bonnie had a brain mass the size of an egg growing very near the area where she processes speech and language. It was found using a new interactive MRI. that looks at blood flow while patients perform various tasks.

Dr. Thomas Gruber, a neurosurgeon, says, "Hers was in a dangerous place, and that's why we did the functional MRI. We knew there were sensitive structures around it. We needed this tool to guide us to get us where we needed to go."

And where they needed to go was surgery.

Schrock became just the third patient to undergo brain surgery in Baptist Health Paducah's new navigational surgical unit. The surgical navigational system is kind of like a medical GPS. It can target the affected area of the brain with an accuracy of within a millimeter.

Schrock's mass wasn't cancerous, but if it had been a third part of the $4 million investment at Baptist Health is stereotactic radiosurgery, which can deliver radiation with the same pin point accuracy.

Schrock went back to work on Monday, just six weeks after surgery.

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