“I have a pretty cool video today.”
Courtney Elizabeth Warner, 26-year-old middle-school teacher and vlogger, had a new post to share: A video of Warner undergoing brain surgery.
She had been diagnosed with Stage 3 Brain Cancer.
This was a slight departure from the informative hair and make-up tutorial videos Warren was used to posting.
Several months earlier, she began to share with her (much smaller at the time) subscribers that she had been diagnosed with Stage 3 Brain Cancer.
Warner, an educator to her very core, decided to take the opportunity to share her surgery on YouTube as one of the most teachable moments she’s shared to date. And this one will be hard to top!
“I wanted to film everything about the surgery.”
“A couple of weeks before my brain surgery, I said that I wanted to film everything about the surgery,” Warren said. And as every good teacher knows, approaching a sensitive subject matter, particularly anything potentially graphic in nature, should always be prefaced with an opt-out option for their students.
Warren does exactly that at the beginning of the video. However, she also points out accurately that the video is filmed from her perspective, so on the graphic scale, it’s pretty mild. Warren also does a great job of offering a play-by-play of how she was feeling and what she was about to go through before actually revealing the surgery part of her video.
“I wanted to show you guys how it was for me.”
This surgery required Warner to be awake and alert enough to talk to the doctors throughout the operation (she was given an anesthetic before and during the surgery).
After saying goodbye to her family and getting onto the surgical bed, she recalled:
“Even though I was kind of a little, like, ‘scoopy,’ I thought, ‘Oh my God, this is happening right now,’ and I see all these people and it was just nuts. There were all these people and they were all there for me.”
She had friends and family by her side or just beyond the door, and many more supportive followers online.
In the videos leading up to her surgery, Warner had garnered increasing interest. In a few months, her followers grew to nearly a quarter of a million—talk about a teacher to class size ratio!
“I wanted to show you guys how it was for me, all the way from the beginning, all the way to the end,” explained Warner.
“Oh my God, this is happening right now.”
One of Warren’s friends had been given permission to tag along and helped her film what she wasn’t able to. Knowing she wanted to share this video with her students and her vlog following, her friend was and made sure to focus on Warner’s face and not actually show the brain.
Parts of the surgery involved removing parts of the tumor from the speech region of her brain, so Warren needed to speak during those periods so doctors would know if they were touching a nerve.
She was also shown flash cards and asked to identify the images on them.
“This is when they were taking my tumor out.”
Warren did experience a seizure during the operation, and in the video, you see her face twitching while and unable to speak. When the seizure passes, you also see her cry and continue to try to identify the images on the flashcards. Near the end of the edited video, an on-screen message appears that reads, “This is when they were taking my tumor out.”
You can view the full video below:
The surgery was a huge success.
The surgery was a huge success and 95 percent of Warner’s tumor was removed. The remaining 5 percent is being treated with chemotherapy, and doctors have assured Warren that they believe chemo treatments will take care of that.
She describes at the end of the video that it took a lot for her to watch the video at first. When she watched it again about a month ago, she said, “I didn’t want to see it. I didn’t want to hear it. I’m gonna delete it.” But Warren followed with, “I’m glad I didn’t because now I find it very interesting.”
H/T: New York Post.