Melissa Den. Chiari Malformation, Cord Traction Syndrome. Descent of the cerebellar tonsils. Discopathy.

Published by at 5 October, 2012

Surgery date:  September 2012


Hello my name is Melissa Den, I am 42yrs and live with my husband David and three children Isaac 9, Cooper 7 and Lucinda 5 on a small mango orchard in the East Kimberley of Western Australia.

After many years and several Doctors I was diagnosed in Australia by MRI in May 2012 with a crowding of the Foramen Magnum, Posterior Fossa and Fourth Ventricle along with descent of the Cerebellar Tonsillar. Chiari Malformation was mentioned. A neurosurgeon in Australia suggested decompression surgery if my symptoms were debilitating.  I researched this and had difficultly finding a specialist in Australia who had experience performing this surgery.

I am a Christian and I strive to seek Gods wisdom and direction each day in my walk with the Lord.  There were specialist in America which had experience in my condition and after much prayer my husband and I decided to send my health history to the States to see if they could be of help.  I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of decompression but with my symptoms getting worse and the nerves in my body starting to be affected I felt I had no choice.  Meeting the needs of my young family was becoming more difficult. I tell my story in the hope of helping someone else just as I was informed when I read other peoples testimonies. I will mention some symptoms only for the reason that someone else reading this may benefit. Lower back pain for over 20yrs, neck & shoulder pain/burning 15yrs, weakness in legs and arms, numbness in right leg and cramps, pain at the base of the skull (especially when I sneezed or coughed) daily fatigue, frequent nausea, heart palpitations, daily headache/fog, pain in jaw, cheek bones and behind the eyes, inability to think/poor memory, sore throat often which came to nothing, crackle and sound of wind in the ear, affected by the cold and heat (extremes made me feel sick) and motion sickness. These symptoms were subtle in the beginning but over the years became worse.

The forward direction towards the States started to come up against resistance.  Several things happened at once giving me a clear direction that God didn’t want me to take that path.  I turned to God in prayer.  I had wonderful support from our home church, family and many others throughout Australia who also prayed for me.  An answer to prayer came when God lead me to Chiari Institut in Barcelona, Spain and Dr Royo Salvador. I emailed through my history and MRI scan in July 2012.  Dr Royo and the medical staff viewed this information and concluded that in my case there were signs for Cord Traction Syndrome and Sectioning of the Filum Terminale surgery was potentially indicated. I was also advised that it was not possible to confirm this diagnosis at a distance; it can only be confirmed in a neurological examination at the Institute.

After much prayer and what we felt to be many open doors from God we left Australia to travel to Barcelona.  The neurological exam confirmed the diagnosis and intervention was performed the following day. As soon as I woke I could feel a wonderful change had taken place in my body. The intervention not only ceased any further progression of the disease but also healed me of so many of the symptoms I once had. Immediately my face looked different and my eyes appeared physically more open. I now have vitality and stamina. I feel like I have a new body. Some of the symptoms I had for over 20 years have disappeared. This was over and above what we could have ever imagined. This result was from minimally invasive surgery. At this time, it seems Dr Royo Salvador is the only specialist who is offering this treatment. Due to the procedure Dr Royo Salvador performs I was able to avoid major surgery and cease any further progression of the disease. Dr Royo Salvador, Katharina and the medical team have extended the highest level of care and professionalism towards my husband and me during our stay. I thank them for their patience in answering my many questions and the way they conduct themselves as a medical team – meeting the needs of the patient with much compassion.

Praise and Glory to God who has been my guide on this journey.  I pray this testimony will give direction and hope to others facing similar circumstances.

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