Spirit Lake Woman Faces Several Surgeries to Treat Chiari Malformation


After years of having multiple physical complications and problems, a young woman in Spirit Lake found medical answers in 2016.

In that year, Jessica Brown was diagnosed with Chiari malformation. This is a rare brain condition where part of the cerebellum drops down into the foramen magnum, which puts pressure on the spinal cord and can cause a host of serious problems and symptoms.

Jessica’s situation was further complicated by another diagnosis of multiple sclerosis after she met with specialists and had an MRI.

While her specialists recommended doing a decompression surgery to relive her condition and potentially her symptoms, the results of her tests were not favorable.

Despite Jessica managing physical pain for many years, she is in school and working towards her dental hygiene degree and ultimately wants to join the Peace Corp.

In February 2019, 3 years after her initial diagnosis, Jessica’s situation became even more serious. She had to rush to the emergency room after experiencing severe vertigo, slurred speech and other symptoms.

Jessica underwent an MRI, which showed her cerebellar tonsils had dropped further down creating even more of a dire situation. Now she must the have surgery and has had to quit going to school all together and take off work.

Jessica’s friends and family have started a GoFundMe to assist Jessica in paying for her surgeries. The money will go directly towards covering any medical expenses her insurance will not pay as she and her family do not have the finances to help Jessica get all the help she desperately needs.

Read more about Jessica here and support her GoFundMe page here.

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