Local nurse gets brain tumor removed in UF Health's new program

by: Kaitlyn Chana Updated:


A relatively new program at UF Health Jacksonville called Skull Base Center is providing treatment for skull base, brain tumors and other related conditions. It’s risky surgery, but for a local nurse, it was her only option in removing a brain tumor.

For Elizabeth Wiard, her headaches persisted into migraines, and she was starting to lose her vision and was having a hard time remembering her coworkers at UF Health Jacksonville. 

“When I started being, like, ‘Why don’t I remember her name? Like, I’m looking right at you,’” said Wiard.

Through an MRI, Dr. Daryoush Tavanaiepour tells Action News Jax that Wiard had a mass putting pressure on the brain, causing her entire brain to shift. Wiand's brain tumor was brewing for about 15 years. It was the size of a golf ball, and it took 18 hours to remove it.

“First, she is precious human being, and the only way to get to this is by going through healthy brain,” said Tavanaiepour.

Wiard tells Action News Jax she had questions about what might happened during the surgery.

“Will I wake up? Will I be any of who I was?” said Wiands.

Tavanaiepour went through Wiand’s skull by creating a window and removing that bone before looking at her brain. Her mass was fully removed. Wiard went from nurse to patient and then back to nurse, and now, she has a closer relationship with her patients.