Dickinson County woman recovers after brain bypass surgery

Houser is 25 and a mother of two boys, Myles and Jackson, who are both happy to have their mom home.
Published: May. 31, 2022 at 5:57 PM EDT
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IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WLUC) - Emily Houser, from Iron Mountain, is at home recovering after a successful 12-hour brain bypass surgery.

She traveled to UW Madison Hospital for the surgery on May 10. Because of COVID-19, Houser waited five months for life-saving surgery to treat Moyamoya.

“I went in there that morning nervous, but more excited than anything because it has been such a long process getting everything taken care of,” Houser said.

There are still obstacles to overcome. Several strokes caused paralysis on the right side of her face, and she has lingering pain from the surgery.

“The worst pain from surgery is my jaw pain. They had to cut right through my jaw muscle. Eating has been really tough for me,” Houser explained.

Despite this, Houser has already noticed her body beginning to heal. A few months ago, she lost feeling in her left foot after a 20-minute stroke. Now, after the surgery, it’s back.

“It wasn’t to be expected I would ever feel my left foot again. I now have feeling,” Houser said.

Houser said she has regained some of her freedom. She can pick up her children without fear of dropping them and drive short distances. However, she cannot have any caffeine and still gets lightheaded when she bends over.

Houser is especially grateful to be home and alive. Houser is 25 years old and a mother of two boys, Myles and Jackson, who are both happy to have their mom home.

“Both times that I left them, I was gone for at least a week in the ICU,” Houser said, with Myles in her lap. “Now they always say ‘mom dad house, mom dad house.’ They don’t want to leave the house, I have a hard time getting them outside.”

Because of her needs, her husband Devin has not worked since January, causing their insurance company to drop them.

“We just got the ICU bill from just the surgery and the previous angiograms, and it was more than $380,000 for that. That does not include the surgery yet,” Houser said.

Houser estimates she has close to half a million dollars in medical bills. Cost aside, Houser says sharing her story has done more than she expected.

“Somebody did see this down in Green Bay. She had surgery because she saw my interview,” Houser said. “She went in and got surgery right away because she was not in a good place and never knew she had Moyamoya until she saw my interview.”

Houser said Moyamoya is genetic, so her sons and siblings will get tested for the disease. For now, she is enjoying her time at home.

A go-fund-me has been set up for the family. Houser says this will help feed her children and pay monthly bills.

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