Barrow Neuro-Rehab Goes International

Julie Stendal is back snowboarding on the slopes in Norway, after a life changing surgery at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix. She had a rare, dangerous growth of nerves on her spinal cord that at any time could bleed and cause her to become a quadriplegic. This 26 year-old says it was like living with a ticking time bomb in her head.

A few years ago, Julie noticed her arm was tingling and feeling numb, when her doctors discovered the malformation of nerves. She traveled to Barrow Neurological Institute from her home in Oslo, Norway after multiple doctors told her the surgery to repair this malformation of nerves on her spinal cord was just too dangerous.

photo of phoenix neurosurgeon robert spetzler
Robert F. Spetzler, MD
Chair, Department of Neurosurgery

“She was facing a very risky proposition,” said Dr. Robert Spetzler, Director of Barrow Neurological Institute. He also said without the surgery the mass of blood vessels could bleed and be detrimental, but also, any wrong move during the surgery could be the same fate. “These are as difficult as they get because you have absolutely no room for error”.

Julie walked out of Rehab on Easter day, one year ago. “I’m really excited that I can have a second chance and that Dr. Spetzler gave me that chance,” said Stendal.

Julie also returned to full time work this past spring at an insurance company in Oslo, Norway.