“Sometimes, when I go to sleep it’s a blank slate.” Said junior Devon Dadwell. “ Hence, I didn’t remember to meet you. I put the sticky note on my desk and forgot all about it until you texted me.”
It started out similar to an intense migraine but quickly spiraled into a life-altering condition for junior Devon Cadwell. The West Hall resident had major brain surgery in October of last year but is now back at Northwestern, alive and regaining his short-term memory.
The night last semester was not Devon’s first incident with these severe headaches. One of the first occurred last summer when he was returning to Iowa with fellow Northwestern students Joel Koster, Aaron Bauer, Jennifer Carlson and John Hellinga. Devon pinpointed the headache to right behind his eyes and explained that it was accompanied by acute nausea. He described the pain as horrible—beyond any migraine imaginable. Following the incident this summer, Devon returned home to Springfield, SD, and the headache passed.
When school started several weeks later, he felt ready to tackle his third year at Northwestern. From then he’s learned how quickly things can change.
Just a few weeks into the fall semester, the headache returned in full force. He went to the hospital and was diagnosed with the flu, but because he was in such extreme pain, he went to stay with a family in Orange City, where his condition continued to decline. “Luckily, they took me back to the hospital. If they hadn’t have done that, I wouldn’t be here.”
When a CAT scan revealed a mass in his brain, Devon was transferred by ambulance to Sioux Falls. The doctors had found an arterial venus malformation and emergency surgery was needed to relieve the swelling and remove the mass of blood vessels.
Devon is incredibly grateful to his surgeon, Dr. Asforia. Not only did Dr. Asforia perform the surgery successfully, he also preserved important aspects of Devon’s