Patient Story

Amber's story: New mom diagnosed with brain tumor two hours after giving birth

Amber Karins was excited when her water broke. She was just two weeks from her due date when baby Quinn decided to make an appearance. 

“…I just remember being so excited because she was going to have the same birthday as Dolly Parton. My husband Joe likes to joke that I willed her into this world early so she could share her birthday with Dolly. He’s not entirely wrong.” 

Just two hours after welcoming daughter Quinn, Amber was diagnosed with a brain tumor. “The stress of the labor caused me to have a seizure right after Quinn was born.” Amber recalls. “I feel like my body knew to wait until the baby was in a safe place before it malfunctioned. The greatest day of my life had also become the scariest.” 

The plan was to allow Amber to go home, recover from the delivery and schedule the craniotomy for 6 weeks later. But as soon as she got home, she realized something else was wrong. “The entire right side of my body wasn’t working. I also had trouble comprehending basic things,” Amber said. 

Neurosurgeon Dr. James Robinson learned of Amber’s new symptoms and took immediate action, moving her surgery up to the closest available date. “The most important take-away for me was Dr. Robinson promising me he’d go very slowly and be as careful as possible. I felt his sincerity and it meant the world to me.” 

“I was really blown away by the incredible level of care…everyone from the meal runners to the MRI technicians to the therapists, they were all so warm and made me feel a little less alone.” 

“Three months later and my recovery has been going well. As for Quinn…she’s cooing and giggling and one day I will tell her the story of how she saved her Momma’s life along with Dr. Robinson and the incredible staff at Northside.”


*The health story shared here may portray atypical results of survival for this type of cancer, given its severity and stage. Atypical results are considered surviving a cancer that has less than a 50% five-year survival rate. Patients should consult an expert to discuss specific treatment plans and the possible outcomes before making medical decisions.


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