It started with a phone call on Monday morning, October 26, 2015. My wife called the eye clinic at our local Sam’s Club in Franklin, Tennessee, to see if they had an opening for me to get a routine check up. We thought I might need to update my prescription for my contacts. Dr. Jenny Nance answered the phone that morning. She asked for me to come in at 3 p.m. Later, I found out they were fully booked that afternoon but she just “had a feeling” that I needed to come in that day.
I arrived that afternoon with a strong migraine headache and nausea. These symptoms had become a daily occurrence for me despite our efforts to figure out what was causing them. We went through the paperwork and Dr. Nance started my eye exam. My nausea was so intense that between tests, I would run outside to vomit and then pray I would be able to make it through the next test before I’d need to escape outside again. While taking a picture of the back of my right eye during one of the routine tests Dr. Nance noticed something. She had me perform a few additional tests and felt that I had an unusual pressure behind my eye. She referred me to a specialist and helped me set up the appointment for the next day. Dr. Nance’s willingness to make time in her busy day to see me that afternoon led to a miracle for myself and my family. The specialist she referred me to confirmed the same problem and scheduled me for an MRI the next day. This MRI led to the discovery of a near baseball sized brain tumor. We learned quickly that a tumor of this size, and at my age of 38, is usually only discovered after the patient has a serious stroke or seizure. I had experienced frequent and horrible migraines over the past few years, and they had intensified in the months leading up to my eye exam but, miraculously, I never experienced any of the more severe symptoms.
Roughly two weeks after meeting with Dr. Nance, the tumor was successfully removed, and today I am fully recovered. There are so many more details in my story; it could fill the pages of this entire magazine, but it began with a Sam’s Club employee listening to that still small voice and making a way to see me that Monday afternoon. Every time we visit Sam’s Club, I try to stop by and check in to see if Dr. Nance is working to give her a hug and thank her. I’m healthy for the first time in more than 10 years and able to be a strong husband to my wife and father to my two girls (and our baby boy on the way in May).