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

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

Serving alcohol has been altered in the Central Okanagan Public Schools policy regarding rental of school facilities for after-school hours events. (Contributed)
Alcohol option opened up at Central Okanagan school facilities rented for events

Central Okanagan Board of Education retains final approval for after-hours event approvals

Voting day for the upcoming Central Okanagan Board of Education by-election is June 26. (Contributed)
Central Okanagan school board election set for June 26

Kelowna voters will go the polls to fill vacant Kelowna trustee seat

Two bikes that were stolen after a West Kelowna parking garage was looted on April 3. Photo: Crime Stoppers Central Okanagan
Parking garage looted in West Kelowna

A car was broken into and six storage lockers were ransacked

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Penticton bylaw officers tore down a “pretty significantly sized” homeless camp underneath the bridge near Riverside Drive Friday, April 16 morning. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton bylaw tears down ‘significantly sized’ homeless camp under bridge

Many residents had made complaints about the camp before it was torn down

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ford F-350s have been targeted in the North Okanagan by auto thieves since February 2021, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP data shows. (Gene J. Puskar - The Canadian Press/AP file)
Auto thieves target older Ford F-350s in Vernon: RCMP

Vernon Mounties remind all motorists no vehicle is immune to auto crime

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Most Read