Kelly Stafford underwent a 12-hour brain operation last month, after doctors found a tumor resting on her cranial nerves
Kelly Stafford, wife of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, underwent brain surgery last month, and she’s been giving frequent updates on her difficult road to recovery.
Stafford, 29, spent 12 hours in surgery after doctors found a benign tumor resting on her cranial nerves. Following the surgery, she has been home resting alongside her husband, 31 — but it has not been an easy recuperation period for the NFL wife.
In a lengthy Instagram post earlier this week, Stafford shared multiple photos of herself — several of which were from after her surgery — and opened up to her followers about the state of her health.
“I’d be lying if I told you it was easy to show you these photos,” Stafford began. “Here is the reality. This was me a few weeks before my surgery. These pics go back and forth from before the surgery to me at the wedding two weeks ago. I have weakness on my right side.. might look slight to others, but it’s very noticeable to me.”
The photos Stafford shared vary from before and after her surgery.
“I have to wait 6 -12 months to know whether this will be permanent or not,” Stafford continued. “This is a VERY GOOD result from surgery.. it’s just a ‘slight difference’ in a face you’ve been staring at for 29 years can be a big difference to you. I wish I could tell you it didn’t bother me, that I haven’t cried about it. But I want to be transparent and truthful about this entire process, the good and the bad.. and to be honest I’m extremely, EXTREMELY insecure about this.”
Before her surgery, Stafford was openly concerned about the possible after-effects that could arise from the procedure.
“I see it in my eyes and in my smile,” she added. “Every time I laugh I cover my mouth because that’s when it’s most noticeable.. that’s when I’m most vulnerable. Although the difference is slight, it changed my smile. I feel the weakness when I pucker to kiss my husband and when I try to make kissy noises to my girls. My right eye doesn’t close all the way and therefore, I have learned how irritating a dry eye can be and how important it is to carry eye drops in every purse.”
She continued: “If this is permanent, I know eventually I will be ok with it. I may sound superficial with this post and don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful that I am here and healing.. but I want to be upfront and honest.”
Despite her surgery being a success, Stafford had to return to the hospital after suffering from headaches and intense pain and has since been open about the difficulties of her post-procedure struggles.
“For anyone going through any type of facial weakness, just know you are not alone and if I find anything that helps, I will for sure share,” she continued.
However, Stafford did add some good news to close out her post.
“On another note, my balance is improving every day and my good days are greatly outnumbering my bad,” she said. “I’m getting back into my routine and it feels so good. I’m beyond thankful for that and in the end, I know getting back to myself on the inside is all that really matters.”
Throughout his wife’s health struggles, Matthew has been by her side, along with their three children, and has said that the past few months have changed him, as well.
“Situations like this change your perspective on a lot of things,” Matthew said on May 21, according to USA Today. “It kind of puts stuff where it should be. But it’s been good. Like I said, I’m just happy to be out here throwing the ball around to some really talented guys, having some fun, playing some ball.”
Kelly’s first signs of health issues came earlier this year when she began to experience severe bouts of vertigo, which led her to have an MRI of the brain that revealed she had a benign tumor, known as an acoustic neuroma, resting on her cranial nerves.