University Hospital Upgrades to Life-Saving Equipment

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COLUMBIA - A local farmer has a brand new piece of equipment to thank for saving his life at The University Hospital.

This special piece of equipment, called a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), helps doctors be more precise when operating on brain tumors. The fMRI is also used for diagnosing and treating patients with complex neurological conditions.

The fMRI helped save Andrew Crum Junior's life and he said he couldn't be more grateful. Crum had a brain tumor, located near the motor skills area in his brain, that could have ruined his life working as a farmer.

Thanks to this advanced technology, Dr. Scott Litofsky was able to use the fMRI to see the exact location of Crum's brain tumor. "Functional MRI is a tool that we use to determine where exactly particular functions of the brain are located. For instance, we can have the MRI's pictures with the patient doing particular activities, we know exactly what parts of the brain are involved with speech or movement of the arm, or movement of the leg, or vision."

Crum said his recovery went smoothly and he was back to work in the farm fields in about four weeks. "I was out tinkering around just in my farm shop picking up and putting up tools and stuff probably at 2 weeks. I was just out at an hour at a time going in and resting a little, just something to do. I didn't want to sit in the house all the time," said Crum.

The functional MRI uses high-strength electromagnets and radiofrequency sensors to produce a computer image of a person's internal anatomy. The MRI magnets cause different body tissues to produce a computer image of a person's internal body.

Crum hopes he can just go on with life and he said he finished his last treatment of radiation last Thursday.