Community rallies to raise funds for young brain tumor victim
Published 3:00 am Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Cowboy Campbell has been below ground level. He has seen death on his daughter’s face. But God had her back.
“Those who don’t believe in Jesus and God Almighty have a bad day coming,” Campbell said. “I’ve seen what God can do and I praise God every day for what He has done for Makayla and what He has done for our family.”
Campbell is an ardent believer in prayer. He has seen what God can do when His people turn to prayer and pray earnestly and believing with their whole hearts.
“So many people were praying for Makayla, so many, and God answered those prayers,” Campbell said.
Makayla Campbell was diagnosed with a brain tumor on the right side of her brain in November. Usually, upbeat, laughing and joking, Makayla stopped eating, going to work and just wanted to sleep. She had several seizures and was rushed to UAB where doctors found a tumor on her brain the size of a walnut.
“The doctor told us the tumor had to come out,” Campbell said. “He said he had to get in and get the tumor out as quick as possible.”
While informing Makayla about the surgery, the doctor told her that he would shave about a four-inch square place on her head and drill a hole about the size of a half dollar. But Makayla said, “Can’t do it.’”
Campbell said he was surprised at Makayla’s attitude and cautioned her.
“But she said, ‘I want my whole head shaved. I’m not going around looking like a dominicker chicken.’ And, I told the doctor, ‘That’s my girl.’”
Makayla made it through the surgery and came home with a favorable report and was seemingly doing fine until March 5.
“Then her system shut down,” Campbell said. “She was having spasms. She couldn’t talk or walk. She was flown back to UAB and she continued have spasms. She would come up off the bed except for her heels and the back of her neck. For three days, her temperature was 105 and they couldn’t get it down. She was lying on a cooling blanket and had one on top of her and ice bags all around her. Makayla was at a critical point. They just couldn’t get her temperature down. Then, one of the nurses tried soaking her in rubbing alcohol and her temperature came down.”
But for two weeks, Makayla was non responsive. “Teresa and I would ask her if she wanted anything but she never said a word,” Campbell said. “We would give her water and crushed ice and talk to her. One day, I asked her if she wanted anything and she said, “I don’t think so, Daddy.’”
Makayla’s family experienced a rush of hope but she didn’t speak another word for two more weeks.
Makayla slowly improved but wasn’t allowed to go home until she had 30 days of radiation. And, she had to learn again how to talk, walk and clothe herself.
Campbell stayed at his daughter’s side for 55 days without coming home and his wife, Teresa never left her for 69 days. Campbell runs South Alabama Stockyards and the family cattle hauling company. Teresa Campbell is pharmacy tech at Walgreen’s.
Makayla’s homecoming was a joyous day and she has been richly blessed in her recovery. She has had only one minor setback. She has gained from 79 pounds to 103 pounds. She is eating everything except the kitchen sink and is back joking and laughing with those around her.
Makayla will celebrate her 21st birthday in August and is looking forward to getting back to work with her family’s 5 C Cattle Company and back on her horse.
“The horse might have to wait awhile,” Campbell said. “We are so blessed to have her home and have her well. We thank God every day and all of those who prayed for Makayla and for all of our family. Like Makayla told me, ‘God’s got this!’ and she was right. God had her back.”