Former NFL quarterback Alex Smith praised his “sweet, selfless, intelligent, hilarious, witty, fun-loving” daughter’s strength while announcing that she is recovering from brain surgery to remove a “very rare malignant tumor.”
Smith wrote on Instagram Saturday that Sloane, youngest of his three children with his wife, Elizabeth, and their only daughter, was stricken with “strokelike symptoms” May 10.
He explained that doctors informed the Smiths that she “had a large brain tumor and needed an emergency craniotomy.”
Ten hours of surgery at Stanford Children’s Health was “the most excruciating time of our lives,” he wrote. Neurosurgeons, he said, removed all of the tumor and Sloan “in her true form — bounced back from brain surgery like a rock star! She didn’t skip a beat.”
However, pathology determined that she had “a very rare malignant tumor with very few documented cases — without a clear road map for treatment. We are currently awaiting more tests and gathering as many opinions as we can from doctors across the country to decide the best path forward. We wish this were easy, clear-cut and someone gave us a how-to guide. It’s anything but that.”
The 6-year-old “has healed” and is “back to her bubbly self. Singing, dancing, laughing and feeling good.” He added that, “most of all she is an incredibly strong girl that has a ton of fight in her.”
Smith thanked “our amazing medical team, family, friends, acquaintances and even some strangers who have touched our lives in the last month and a half. We have struggled to keep up on calls, texts, communication and trying to keep loved ones updated. This has been by far the most challenging time we have EVER been through. We know it’s not over and we have a journey ahead of us, but without all of you we could not have gotten this far.”
Alex and Elizabeth were open about his long recovery and comeback from the leg fracture that ended his NFL career, sharing the story with ESPN and speaking about how his life was jeopardized by infection. He apologized in his post for seeming “withdrawn” in the face of this challenge.
“We are sorry if we seem withdrawn. It’s because we are … We have been inundated with doctors appointments, scans, labs and trying our best to navigate through this. Most importantly, we’re healing together as a family.”