Graham High School student survives brain tumor, vision loss

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GRAHAM, N.C. -- A 16-year-old at Graham High School has been through more this summer than most people go through in a lifetime.

It all started when Sydney McCann lost her peripheral vision over the summer.

“It was just sudden. It almost like a black wall on my left side,” said Sydney.

Within days, doctors found a benign tumor on her pituitary gland. They said it had to be removed as soon as possible.

“We were just overwhelmed. Here's a 16-year-old healthy child that has been playing ball. Then all of a sudden, she's lost her vision and we don't know what holds. It was scary. It was really scary,” said Michelle McCann, Sydney’s mom.

Surgeons removed the tumor through Sydney’s nose at the end of August. The surgery took more than three hours.

“When we walked back there, she opened her eyes. She just looked up at me and her dad and said, ‘I can see,’" said Michelle. “She wasn't swollen. Other than the IV’s, she looked perfect.”

Doctors said operating through her nose would reduce the recovery time, but the McCann’s still weren’t prepared for how fast Sydney bounced back.

“It was actually exactly 16 days from the day she had surgery to the day he released her to play volleyball. She played that night,” said Jay McCann, Sydney’s dad.

Now, Sydney gets to be a normal high school student again. This experience taught her something that can’t be learned in the classroom.

“Just don't take anything for granted,” said Sydney.

There will be a benefit golf tournament Saturday, Sept. 27, at Shamrock Golf Course to support Sydney’s medical expenses. Registration begins at 10 a.m. with the shotgun start at noon.

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