I recently graduated from Pepperdine University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, while specializing in vocal performance. But about year ago, during my last semester, I noticed that the hearing in my left ear was failing. I was only 21 years old and had always been healthy, so I didn’t think much of it at the time. But my voice teacher started noticing that I was losing my sense of pitch while performing in my upper register.  

So, after graduating, I finally saw an ENT who, not detecting any problems in my eardrum, ordered an MRI of my brain. As a result, a large 5 cm acoustic neuroma was discovered.

The thought of having to undergo neurosurgery to remove it shook me deep inside. I was immediately referred to the House Clinic where I met with Dr. Kevin Peng and Dr. Gregory Lekovic who would be my surgeons. Both were gentle and kind, but at the same time, confident, professional, obviously knowledgeable, experienced and highly competent.  This did a lot to put me at ease. They explained the whole procedure and what I should expect. And although mine was an unusually large tumor posing greater risks than smaller ones, they left me feeling confident that all would work out.

My parents, who were also under a great deal of stress before and during the 18-hour long procedure, were so impressed with these men as well as the entire surgical team and nurses who took care of me before and after. Everyone was so conscientious about my parent’s concerns and so ensured that they received regular and encouraging updates throughout the procedure.  Even directly following the operation, at 3:00 a.m., the Drs. Peng and Lekovic went straight to my parents in the waiting room to report on the results and to offer some more encouraging words.

…my tumor was entirely removed without even the slightest damage to my facial nerve.

We are all so grateful to the surgeons and entire surgical team as my tumor was entirely removed without even the slightest damage to my facial nerve. I can’t thank the House Clinic enough for this and for treating me and my family with the utmost care and respect.

Sophie Emmons

March 2019

― Sophie Emmons, Acoustic Neuroma, CA