Making a Quick recovery
Post Independent Staff
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Anytime you think there’s no hope – think of Aprill Quick.
Earlier this year, the 19-year-old Parachute woman was emergency airlifted to Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver after her throat became so constricted with a tumor the size of a baseball that she couldn’t breathe.
Today, she is laughing, talking – with a hoarse whisper, no less – and caring for her newborn son.
Aprill, a former cheerleader and 2002 Grand Valley High School graduate, was nine months pregnant in January, so after her emergency flight to Denver, doctors performed an emergency C-section. Her son, Damian, was born healthy on Jan. 28.
Aprill fared far worse. She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
Doctors put Aprill under heavy sedation, and her siblings and parents kept an ongoing vigil at her bedside. Doctors surgically removed as much of the tumor as they could and ordered aggressive thyroid radiation therapy to try to shrink the tumor.
“It was a very grave situation,” said Aprill’s father, Keith. “Aprill was fighting for her life.”
The family sent out messages to the local community to pray for Aprill. A fund was set up at Alpine Bank to help cover Aprill’s medical bills, and to help the family care for Aprill and Damian.
Then, after two and a half weeks of radiation treatments, something remarkable started happening: Aprill’s tumor started shrinking. A lot.
“They did a scan during the third week of treatment, and the tumor had shrunk over 50 percent,” Keith said. “The doctors told us we had received a miracle.”
Best yet, the tumor had shrunk around Aprill’s airway, which allowed doctors to take Aprill off her respirator. Around Feb. 20, she started breathing on her own. Doctors decreased her medication, and she started coming around. She saw and held her baby for the first time.
On March 11, Aprill received her last radiation treatment. Now, she can pinch the tumor between her finger and thumb.
“It’s loose,” Keith said. “She can pull it away from her neck.”
On the advice of her doctors, Aprill and her family decided to move her to the University of New Mexico’s cancer treatment center for further evaluation and treatment.
“When Aprill was pregnant and her neck was swelling, she went to a doctor in Grand Junction,” Keith said. “He didn’t take a biopsy or anything. He just told her it was a thyroid problem and that she should deal with it after she had the baby. So we didn’t feel right about having her cared for at home in Parachute.”
Keith said Aprill is in great spirits, enjoying time with her family and caring for Damian.
“He’s the inspiration for her healing,” Keith said of Damian.
She has regular doctor visits, and will likely continue chemotherapy treatments to further shrink her tumor.
In the meantime, Aprill wants everyone to know how much she appreciates their concern – and their prayers.
“I just want to thank all the people who have been so kind to me,” Aprill said in a hoarse whisper in a phone call on Wednesday. “I want to thank people for all their contributions through prayer and through donations.”
“We’re believers in prayer,” added Keith. “Literally, there were hundreds of people praying for her.”
Quick also has future career plans.
“She wants to be a nurse,” said Keith. “There’s an excellent nursing program at the University of New Mexico. She wants to be like the nurses in Denver who took such good care of her.”
Contributions to the Quick Family Benefit Fund may be made at any local Alpine Bank.
Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518
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