Pregnant brain tumor patient finds answers, comfort at MD Anderson

Kylie Temple knew from a young age that she loved kids. As a NICU nurse in Mississippi, Kylie spends her days around infants, and in 2015, her first son, Riley, was born.

“My husband and I knew we wanted him to have a sibling,” Kylie says. Unfortunately, she experienced back-to-back miscarriages, which she learned were caused by a rare blood-clotting disorder. When Kylie became pregnant again in 2018, she was prescribed blood thinners to protect the pregnancy, and was determined to carry her second son, Reid, to term.

But a brain tumor diagnosis nearly derailed her plans.

Scared, but determined after brain tumor diagnosis

At 18 weeks pregnant, midway through her second trimester, Kylie woke up in the hospital, where her family told her she’d had multiple seizures the night before.

“Thankfully, I don’t remember anything from that night,” Kylie says. In the ER, scans revealed Kylie had a brain tumor. The local hospital quickly transferred her to a nearby medical center, where doctors gave her steroids to control the seizures and referred her case to the tumor board. When their recommendation came back, Kylie knew she had to get a second opinion.

“They didn’t want to do anything until after I delivered,” Kylie says. “I knew the tumor caused the seizures, which were not good for me or Reid. I was scared to death, but I was determined to fight and live to see my boys grow up.”

Why Kylie chose MD Anderson for brain tumor surgery

Kylie called MD Anderson and was scheduled to see neurosurgeon Sherise Ferguson, M.D., in the Brain and Spine Center within a week.

“I made it clear to Dr. Ferguson at my initial visit that carrying Reid as close to term as possible was my ultimate goal,” Kylie says. “I wanted the best for me and Reid, no matter what it took. Dr. Ferguson was so confident and optimistic about my outcome, it eased my mind. To get the tumor out and continue to carry Reid was the best case scenario, and Dr. Ferguson and her staff worked so hard to make that happen.”

By then, Kylie was 20 weeks pregnant and needed to have brain tumor surgery while she was still early in her second trimester for the procedure to be as safe as possible for both her and Reid. She also had to stop taking blood thinners and have Reid’s health cleared for surgery. During a craniotomy in MD Anderson’s BrainSuite®, Ferguson successfully removed 97% of Kylie’s brain tumor.

“The first thing I remember waking up from surgery was grabbing my belly,” Kylie says. “Someone said, ‘Reid’s still in there,’ and I felt immense relief. In the recovery room after surgery they let me hear Reid’s heartbeat. It was the best sound ever.”

Because Kylie’s brain tumor was a grade II astrocytoma, a less-aggressive tumor, neuro-oncologist Shiao-Pei Weathers, M.D., told Kylie she could safely wait until after Reid was born to begin radiation therapy.

Gratitude for a healthy brain and baby boy

Reid Davis Temple was born healthy and only two weeks early on Nov. 2, 2018.

“I was relived, happy, blessed and just so excited to hold him in my arms,” Kylie says. “Dealing with a malignant brain tumor was not at all how I saw my final pregnancy going, but everyone at MD Anderson — from the doctors to the housekeepers — made the experience as easy and stress-free as it could be.”

Five weeks after Reid was born, Kylie traveled back to Houston to begin proton therapy at MD Anderson under the care of Arnold dela Cruz Paulino, M.D. Kylie completed her final treatment on Valentine’s Day 2019, and returns to MD Anderson every few months for scans to confirm the disease remains stable. She’s now back at work in the NICU and enjoying spending time with her family.

“I am so grateful I chose to come to MD Anderson,” Kylie says. “It was 100% the right choice for me.”

Request an appointment at MD Anderson online or by calling 1-877-632-6789.