Merlin’s Recovery Progress

Side view showing tumor on top

Merlin’s recovery news is mixed. For the first two weeks following the initial tumor removal, he seemed to be making a miraculous recovery. Then he started getting unexplained headaches and left-side body numbness. His surgeon was out of town, but when he returned he ordered a CT scan and organized an appointment for the next morning when he explained that the scan showed either a blood clot or an infection in his brain and that he would have to perform emergency surgery.

I took him directly from the doctor’s office to the operating room where a team of surgeons and anesthesiologists was waiting.

Birds-eye view showing tumor on left (actually on right side of brain)

On recovery, it was explained to us that, in addition to removing a blood clot, they had found a bacterial infection. As a part of treating the infection, they had removed a several-inches-in-diameter section of Merlin’s skull, which will have to be replaced in a third surgery, probably in May. 

Since bacterial infection in one’s brain is serious and cannot be treated by oral antibiotics, he’s having to continually wear an IV pumping unit and bag of antibiotic fluid for six weeks and meet daily with a specialist to adjust treatment and track progress.

Merlin is fast walking a mile a day, answering emails and doing some work at the computer, but he is not yet allowed to work out or drive. He is still planning to be back in the field photographing bats by late April. He has enjoyed hearing from family and friends and is deeply appreciative of all their kind encouragement.