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Cranial Nerve Patient Stories

Our stories below profile some of the patients who came to UPMC for brain surgery.

Teri Cook: Hemifacial Spasm

Teri Cook is a brunette woman with wispy bangs. She is smiling. She is wearing gold hoop earrings. Her hair is shoulder length.

When this Australian native began having symptoms of Hemifacial Spasm, she found that the most experienced surgeons for this condition were at UPMC.

Read Teri Cook's story

Gene Linck: Trigeminal Neuralgia

Gene has gray hair and wears glasses. He is wearing a purple collared button down shirt and a shiny, silver tie.

When this Korean War Veteran was struck with trigeminal neuralgia that was causing severe facial pain, he turned to the experts at UPMC.

Read Gene Linck's story

Yongie Lee: Hemifacial Spasm

A purple background with white text which reads "The journey changed my whole life," by Yongie Lee.

When facial spasms drove her to hide at home and avoid social settings, this New Hampshire native chose UPMC to restore her confidence and her life.

Read Yongie Lee's story

Emerson Prattis: Hemifacial Spasm

Emerson smiles. He wears a straw woven hat. He has on a white and blie striped shirt. The sky is blue behind him.

This Delaware resident suffered from debilitating facial spasms for more than three decades before UPMC offered him a solution he didn’t know was possible.

Read Emerson Prattis's story

Cordé Reed: Trigeminal Neuralgia

Code wears a sports jersey and a baseball cap. He is smiling.

This dedicated mom turned to UPMC to help her get her life back when agonizing nerve pain in her face kept her from taking care of her family.

Read Cordé Reed's story

Richard Van Allen: Hemifacial Spasm

Richard is in a valley surrounded by mountains. He wears a weatherproof jacket in red, and jeans. He has gloves and a hiking backpack, as well as trekking poles.

When Dr. Van Allan's symptoms from hemifacial spasm became unbearable, he chose to fly across the country to undergo microvascular decompression surgery at UPMC.

Read Richard Van Allen's story