Kelly Stafford, wife of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, gave the public an update Easter Sunday after undergoing 12 hours of brain surgery — which was supposed to only last six hours.
Last month, the mother of three revealed that she had a noncancerous tumor sitting on her cranial nerves that needed to be removed as soon as possible.
The surgery, explained Stafford in an Instagram post, was supposed to last some six hours, but the risky procedure ended up taking double that amount of time due to complications along the way. Stunningly, her main surgeon had written a paper on the rare complication he encountered working on her brain. Stafford, an open Christian, called this "God’s work" and credited prayer for the operation’s success.
"This Easter is the beginning of a new life for me," she wrote. "I wanna take a second to thank all of you for all the prayers. They have worked. I know they have."
Stafford explained that an "abnormal vein" caused complications for the medical team. "When they opened me up, I had an abnormal vein.. maybe abnormal for other neurosurgeons, but not the one We chose," she said. "He had seen it before and written a paper on it. That’s truly God’s work."
"The prayers for my family, I’m beyond thankful for," Stafford continued. "A six hour surgery went to 12 hours and although they were anxious and scared, your prayers got them through. Thank you. Thank you so much."
"Now I am home and learning my new norm. It’ll take some time, but I really just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for all your support, thoughts and prayers. It means more than y’all will ever know," she added.
Earlier in the month, Stafford candidly expressed her anxieties about the upcoming surgery and asked supporters for their prayers.
"I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t completely terrified of brain surgery. I am. I am terrified of them opening my head, I’m terrified of losing my hearing, I’m terrified of losing facial function, I’m terrified of far worse things that could happen and I’m terrified that I won’t take the time I need to recover because the guilt I might feel of being absent from my kids for too long.. I am telling y’all this to ask for prayers and support," said the 29-year-old.
"Things to pray for: -calmness in these next 2 weeks as I know anxiety will run high in myself & my whole family leading up to the day of surgery. -that God be in the room with the surgeons & give them all the guidance, steadiness, & confidence they need. -my safety during and after surgery. -please pray for matthew as I know his nerves will be high during this surgery. I couldn’t imagine being out in that waiting room," she added.
Stafford’s Easter Sunday update was met with relief from the Detroit Lions family and other celebrities.
Lions linebacker Devon Kennard commented, "So glad it went well! Happy Easter to you guys!"
"This is awesome!!! So happy everything went well," said Lions linebacker Christian Jones.
Former Lions defensive end and current free agent Ezekiel Ansah posted emojis of hands praying.
"Amen, Kelly!! Prayers for a full, amazing recovery!! We are thinking of you!" wrote Brittany Aldean, wife of country music superstar Jason Aldean.
ESNP reporter Michelle Beisner-Buck said, "Sending SO much love and abundance of prayers, patience, and faith."