Dave Hilty of Oxford, MI has had a passion for the art of glass blowing since he was 14 years old. His love for the art goes beyond the finished product – he is also fascinated by the process and chemistry that go into making glass. Everyday, Hilty feels the heat of two furnaces, ranging from 2,000 to 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit in his studio, Pine Lake Glassworks. But on a cold day in February a few years ago Hilty and his family were facing a different kind of heat – Hilty had suffered a grand mal seizure and was rushed to Crittenton by ambulance.
Upon his arrival in the Crittenton Emergency Department, Crittenton physicians conducted an MRI, which revealed that Hilty had a brain tumor. The Meningioma tumor had caused him to lose his sense of smell for years prior, but he believed this was simply a side effect of aging. Meningioma tumors are slow-growing and form membranes that cover the brain and compress nerve endings, which can lead to the loss of smell, vision and can cause seizures. Physicians at Crittenton scheduled an immediate craniotomy surgery to remove the tumor. “When I woke up after my surgery in the ICU, I saw a nurse coming through the doors about 20 feet away and I could smell her perfume! It was remarkable to have my sense of smell again,” said Hilty. The surgery was so successful that he suffered few side effects.
Hilty praised the physicians and staff who treated him at Crittenton. “Thanks to the physicians and staff at Crittenton, my tumor did not stop me from pursuing my passion for glass blowing,” said Hilty. According to Hilty’s wife, Ann O’Neill, who recently participated in the 34th Annual Golf Outing, “we were fortunate to have a community hospital so close to home and we continue to support Crittenton”.