|CyberKnife: Spread the word
Watch a video interview of DeLano Austin Morgan
When DeLano Austin Morgan became PeaceHealth Southwest's second CyberKnife(®) patient in 2006, he did not tell his wife right away. "I didn't want her to worry about me," he says. Because CyberKnife is a noninvasive outpatient procedure, Morgan was able to have the radiosurgery treatment and return to work the same day.
Morgan had an arteriovenous malformation (AVM). "It was a cluster in the worst area possible: the veins that feed blood to the brain. I had no idea I had the AVM. I don't drink or smoke. I love basketball. I'm a very straight-arrow kind of guy."
Early in 2006 the AVM ruptured like a brain hemorrhage, and Morgan was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest's Emergency Department. George Shanno, MD, one of Southwest's neurosurgeons, was the on-call doctor that day. After embolizing the AVM (closing off portions of it), Dr. Shanno recommended CyberKnife to repair the malformation.
"Using robotics technology, the CyberKnife system locates the position of the tumor or lesion," explains Dr. Shanno. "Then, using a flexible range of motion, the robotic arm delivers highly focused beams of radiation. CyberKnife is less risky and has fewer complications than traditional surgery and allows us to treat otherwise inoperable lesions."
S. Christopher Hoffelt, MD and Ashok Modha, MD, FSCSC were Morgan's CyberKnife specialists. Dr. Hoffelt performed the CyberKnife procedure, and Dr. Modha continues as Morgan's brain specialist today.
Since Morgan's single CyberKnife treatment more than two years ago, the AVM is gone, and he has had no major side effects. This year he is focusing on his exercise routine, playing basketball, and enjoying his family life in east Vancouver. "It seems like there is a reason for everything," DeLano Morgan says. "I owe all three doctors and their staff so much for their commitment and dedication to my recovery. I truly believe God performed a miracle through all of them. My life is good."
Published in Southwest Health, March/April 2009