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'He was blind, he couldn't eat, he couldn't talk': Pine Bluff student overcomes brain tumor

After a brain tumor diagnosis 8 years ago, one Pine Bluff grad is grateful to be alive.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — When Ke’Auvion Dean was 10-years-old, he was just a normal kid.

"I used to color, I used to, you know, play the game and all that stuff”, he said.

One morning when his mom, Kimberly Hearn, was getting him ready for school, she noticed that something was wrong.

“He was acting very weird like bumping into walls, just acting very dizzy. So, I asked him what was wrong, but he was like feeling for the light switch."

After a visit to the doctor, that is when Hearn’s life changed forever. 

“They just said it was just a bug and that it would go away,” she said. “He said that we got some news, it’s probably not going to be the most welcoming. He has a tumor the size of a grapefruit, in the middle of his brain, next to his brain stem, and it’s going to require surgery.”

Ke’Auvion was diagnosed with Pineoblastoma, a cancerous brain tumor, and underwent two brain surgeries. The surgery left him unable to do simple cognitive tasks.

"They ruled him out as being blind, he couldn't eat, he couldn't talk, he couldn't walk”, she said.

A neurosurgeon told Hearn that her son would be blind for the rest of his life. That was not an answer she was willing to accept. 

“I said you know what, just put my baby in that wheelchair and I’m going to take him home just like he is, and I got faith that he's going to come out of this,” she said. 

After eight weeks of rehabilitation care, Ke’Auvion’s mom decided she would take over caring for her son and in two weeks, noticed he was able to talk and walk again.

“Ke’Auvion was whispering to me in the living room, mommy, can you come here? And I was like Ke'Auvion are you talking?"

Today, Ke’Auvion is 18-years-old and will be graduating from Friendship Aspire Academy on Wednesday, May 17, 2021. He said he cannot thank his mom and grandmother enough for enduring this tough journey with him.

“If it were not for them, I probably would not be at this point right now. I still have God by my side."

Ke’Auvion’s story inspired his mother so much that she became a certified nursing assistant.

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