Health Notes: Persistence pays off, saves a lifeAshlie Patnode knew there was something seriously wrong with her little boy, but she had a hard time convincing doctors in Nashville, Tenn. The Superior native’s persistence probably saved her son’s life.
By: John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
Ashlie Patnode knew there was something seriously wrong with her little boy, but she had a hard time convincing doctors in Nashville, Tenn.
The Superior native’s persistence probably saved her son’s life. She insisted on an MRI, and on Oct. 13 of last year, Tyreese Patnode was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer. She was told later that he would have lived only two weeks if action hadn’t been taken.
Since then, Tyreese, now 6, has had brain surgery and radiation, and he’s undergoing chemotherapy at Vanderbilt University Children’s Hospital. That should be finished in December, said his grandmother, Rhonda Morton of Willmar, Minn. Doctors say he has a 60 percent chance of survival, Morton said, but may face disabling effects of the illness for the rest of his life.
Morton, who was spending time this week with her mother and stepfather, Sue and Bob Plunkett of Superior, said Ashlie Patnode is facing challenges of her own. A single mom caring for two boys — the second is Zayden Patnode, 3 — she was living in a Nashville housing project while working on a degree at Tennessee State University. While the Plunketts were there for six weeks to watch the boys, Bob Plunkett was assaulted and suffered a concussion.
Through the website gofundme, Patnode was able to raise enough money to move to an apartment in a safer neighborhood. But she only has enough so far for the first four months. She hopes to be able to stay through May, when she is on schedule to graduate with degrees in psychology and nonprofit administration.
More information is available at www.gofundme.com; search for “Help Ashlie.”
Information about Tyreese’s battle with medulloblastoma is available at www.caringbridge.org. Enter the site name “TyreesePatnode.”