Kelly Stafford Reunited with Her Kids After Hospitalization Following Brain Surgery: 'So Grateful'
The 29-year-old mom of three shared a series of photos of herself resting at home with the couple’s young daughters, Chandler, Sawyer and Hunter, as well as one of her posing with Matthew, 31.
“I’m home,” she wrote in the emotional Instagram post on Friday. “I’m home and I got to spend a few hours with my little humans. It filled my heart so much. I can’t even describe it.”
Though she’s back home, Stafford explained her condition was far from perfect.
“I wish they could stay, but I know I’m not ready for all of it,” she continued. “When they took out the tumor, they also wiped out the entire balance system on my right side. I wish I could explain it, but I think it’s something you have to experience. I can’t turn my head right without feeling college drunk.”
Stafford added: “I’m talking end of the night, can’t put one foot in front of the other, knowing you’ll be sleeping on the bathroom floor, college drunk. I have to rework my brain to know that it can only rely on my left side, which will take time, a good amount of time.”
“And when there are two toddlers running below your feet while you are trying to relearn basic things like walking… it makes it seem like there are a million more moving parts to it… maybe because there are,” she wrote.
Stafford then opened up about regaining her strength following the surgery.
“It’s tough to go from a very active woman to having to relearn the basics of being an athlete,” she penned, “but these little girls give me so much strength. I want to be able to teach them every sport I learned and the day they beat me… I’ll humble them by reminding them I’m only working with one side of my brain.”
“I miss them,” she concluded, referencing her kids. “I miss them so much, but I’m so grateful I got that time today and now I have my inspiration to keep on pushing!”
In a lengthy Instagram post earlier this week, Stafford detailed her struggles with pain since the procedure, and how it resulted in her return to the hospital.
“I thought I could do it,” the caption began. “They told me tapering off the steroids was going to be very difficult. The first picture was yesterday when I was on what I thought was my last day of steroids.”
The first of the three pictures that the former cheerleader posted depicted her laying on the couch. The second picture showed she and husband Matthew walking up the stairs smiling, while the third depicted Kelly now in a hospital bed.
“I thought I could power through the pain and massive headaches that were challenging me throughout the day,” the post continued. “I figured I could pull my strength from one of the strongest people I know, Matthew. I told myself the pain would succumb to me, I wouldn’t succumb to it.”
The post then transitioned to her return to the hospital, saying, “I was so wrong. The pain got so far ahead of me I couldn’t keep anything down, including meds. I ended up in the ER very early this morning, back on steroids and pain medication.”
Kelly endured her tumor removal surgery only several days ago, after she revealed in early April that doctors found a benign tumor, known as an acoustic neuroma, resting on her cranial nerves. Leading up to her diagnosis, Kelly had experienced severe bouts of vertigo while spending time with the couple’s daughters.
On Easter Sunday, Kelly uploaded a series of pictures to Instagram that showed her in a wheelchair and surrounded by family after the operation, which was scheduled to last six hours but stretched to 12 when the surgeon discovered an “abnormal” vein in her skull.
Stafford thanked her supporters for their prayers during the ordeal.
“This Easter is the beginning of a new life for me,” she explained. “I wanna take a second to thank all of you for all the prayers. They have worked. I know they have.”
While the procedure was successful, Kelly had alluded to her health issues post-surgery on her Instagram story on Monday.
“Sitting in this dark room in pain, but trying to hold off on meds because I want to see my kids. I want to be coherent and in the moment,” she wrote.
“Tomorrow, it’ll have been a whole week that I haven’t seen them and my heart aches,” Kelly added. “Balancing, in general, is incredibly hard right now … balancing kids and brain surgery is nearly impossible.”