Complex brain tumor surgery at Silver Cross helps New Lenox grandmother resume active life

Edna Teodor and neurosurgeon, Peleg Horowitz, MD, PhD

Edna Teodoro, 79, of New Lenox, meets with her University of Chicago Medicine neurosurgeon, Peleg Horowitz, MD, PhD, at Silver Cross Hospital.

Edna Teodoro felt off during her recent Hawaiian vacation. She had bad headaches and memory issues.

When she returned home to New Lenox, her husband urged her to see a doctor. The retired bank analyst, 79, insisted she was fine.

A few weeks later, in June 2022, her daughter-in-law overheard her struggling with her speech during a phone call to a grandson. She immediately took Teodoro to the emergency room.

MRI and CT scans found a golf ball-sized tumor deep in Teodoro's brain. The tumor was benign but the swelling had impacted her cognitive function.

The next day, the grandmother of five had a craniotomy to remove the tumor at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, just a few miles from her home.

The complex, six-hour surgery was performed by UChicago Medicine brain tumor specialist and neurosurgeon Peleg Horowitz, MD, PhD, a member of the expanding team of UChicago Medicine neuroscience experts treating patients at Silver Cross.

In the past, Teodoro would have needed to travel to UChicago Medicine’s main hospital in Hyde Park for a complicated brain surgery. Now, that same high quality of care is available closer to home, thanks to a collaboration between UChicago Medicine and Silver Cross. 

The collaboration is bringing nationally ranked experts and a full range of technologies and treatments to Will County so patients can have high-level neurological cancer care, stroke care and neurosurgery. The two hospitals already collaborate in other areas, including cancer care

“You get the benefits of the Hyde Park surgeons, radiation doctors and oncologists out in the Southwest suburbs. A lot of my patients who live out here find it much more convenient,” Horowitz said.

Silver Cross’s neurosciences team consists of Horowitz, neurosurgeon Paramita Das, MD, MS, vascular neurologist Tareq Kass-Hout, MD, and neuroradiologist Michael Hurley, MBBCh, among other oncologists and radiation oncologists. Silver Cross performs up to 100 brain tumor surgeries each year and that number is expected to increase. To meet demand, more tumor specialists will join the Silver Cross team in early 2023, Horowitz said.

 Edna Teodoro and neurosurgeon, Peleg Horowitz, MD, PhD
Edna Teodoro, 79, of New Lenox, meets with her University of Chicago Medicine neurosurgeon, Peleg Horowitz, MD, PhD, at Silver Cross Hospital.

After her surgery, Teodoro spent four weeks in the hospital and underwent her rehabilitation at Silver Cross. The program included speech therapy, since she lost her voice for two weeks, and physical therapy to help her relearn to swallow and eat.

Four months later, her head feels a little tender where her stitches were, Teodoro said. Otherwise, she is doing great. She spends lots of time with her tight-knit family and is back singing at her church.

She also hopes to resume her charity work in her native Philippines. Before COVID-19, she and her husband, Frank, oversaw the installation of water pumps in remote areas of the country. She plans to open an orphanage in a town north of Manila on her next visit.

“By the grace of God, I survived this brain tumor. I think God wants me to do more,” she said.

The New Lenox resident returned to Silver Cross in October to bring thank-you gifts to the nurses and rehabilitation staff who helped her recover. There were tears and applause.

“They were hugging me and saying, ‘Oh, look at you!’” she said. “Those women were all so nice and they did everything for me. They would brush my hair, give me a bath, give me fresh clothes or bring me more blankets. Whatever I needed.”

While some of Teodoro’s cognition and memory may never fully return, Horowitz said her prognosis is good.

“If you remove these tumors completely, they’re usually cured and unlikely to return. We’ll be watching with MRIs for the rest of her life,” he said.

Peleg Horowitz, MD, PhD

Peleg Horowitz, MD, PhD

Peleg Horowitz, MD, PhD, is a neurosurgeon with expertise in brain tumors and skull base tumors. He provides multidisciplinary care as a member of the neuro-oncology and skull base tumor teams.

View Dr. Horowitz's physician bio