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

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is offering home compost bins at reduced prices until March 25. (Contributed)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen offers compost bins at wholesale costs

Pricing offer at participating stores in place until March 25

Premier John Horgan looks on during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, February 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Premier touches on protest, housing controversy in Penticton

Protesters have said they plan to go on despite police warning

Penticton’s Law Courts.	(File)
Penticton beach attacker to serve two more years behind bars

Thomas Kruger-Allen was sentenced in a Penticton court on Friday

About 50 people gathered Friday, March 5, 2021 in Penticton to protest city council’s decision to close a temporary winter shelter. (Jesse Day - Western News)
WATCH: Protest over Penticton shelter draws large crowd

People are gathering in Gyro Park to protest the closure of a winter shelter

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

Paramjit Bogarh, connected to the murder of his wife in Vernon 35 years ago, has been relerased on full parole, one year after he was sentenced to five years in prison for accessory after the fact. (Contributed)
Full parole for ex-Okanagan man who helped wife’s alleged killer escape

Paramjit Bogarh pleaded guilty to accessory to murder after helping brother flee Canada

The Princeton Traditional Music Festival, normally held in August, was denied a grant due to COVID. (File photo)
COVID makes some of the 2021 grant decisions for Princeton council

Municipality doles out funds while striving to meet policy

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Most Read