Second opinion saves Brookfield man's life

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — As the world grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, a Brookfield man was struggling to overcome a difficult diagnosis.

Strange symptoms like back pain, memory loss and brain fog forced Greg Berry to see a doctor, only to be misdiagnosed with obesity and early onset dementia.

A second opinion saved his life.

“In about 20 minutes (she said) you’re going to the hospital. Something’s going on in your brain. I don’t know what it is yet, but we’ll find out,” Berry said.

Berry was diagnosed with CNS lymphoma on March 18, 2020. The rare tumor caused a buildup of fluid in his brain that doctors said was just hours away from killing him.

“Sometimes it chokes me a bit,” Berry said.

A ban on visitors forced Berry to battle cancer without his family by his side. He doesn’t remember much from that time, but the kindness of the doctors and nurses who intervened will stay with him forever.

Just as the world shut down in March 2020, Greg Berry was diagnosed with a brain tumor and hospitalized.

Today he is reunited with the surgeon and nurses who were by his side when his family could not be. His story on @CBS58. pic.twitter.com/NcM2BPaLEA

— Gabriella Bachara (fromGabbyBachara) March 23, 2022

dr Asad Khan, a neuro-oncologist at Aurora St. Luke’s, called it a miracle that Berry is in remission today.

“We don’t just treat the tumor, we treat the person. When I see him, I see that in the works,” Khan said.

There are no screening tests for this type of cancer.

“You end up seeing them with several months of history and then someone does a scan or someone does a neurological exam and you see the deficit,” Khan said.

Thanks to Khan, the nurses who have become like family, and this second opinion, Berry is adjusting to his new normal and a much healthier lifestyle.

“Before that happened, I took a few things for granted,” Berry said. “It’s good for me that I’ve learned a few things.”

Berry is back to working five hours a day as a civil engineer and walks his dog Phoebe every day.

He wants patients to understand the importance of asking your doctors questions and doctors to understand the importance of listening to their patients.

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