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1/13/2013 6:01:00 AM
Kingman mom in a fight for her life
Single mother of two battles intracranial hypertension
DEBBIE MCKEE/Courtesy
City employee Theresa Jones is pictured with son Bryan Jones and daughter Cassie Richardson. Theresa Jones has had more than a dozen surgeries in the last several years to treat hypertension in her brain.
DEBBIE MCKEE/Courtesy
City employee Theresa Jones is pictured with son Bryan Jones and daughter Cassie Richardson. Theresa Jones has had more than a dozen surgeries in the last several years to treat hypertension in her brain.

City employees are rallying behind a longtime, well-liked colleague recently diagnosed with a life-threatening condition.

Theresa Jones has worked for the Kingman Police and Fire departments since 2000. She started as a secretary with KPD, then worked as a code enforcement officer before transferring to the fire department and working as a fire prevention specialist and most recently, communications specialist.

Jones has endured a dozen surgeries after being diagnosed in 2008 with intracranial hypertension. That's when the pressure of cerebrospinal fluid within the skull is too high.

Jones first realized something was wrong when she began losing her memory. She'd drive past her house without realizing it or forget how to sign her name when filling out a check. She also suffered from debilitating headaches that went beyond any migraine.

"It was pain like you've never felt before," she said.

She chalked it up to stress until April 1, 2008, when she went to the ophthalmologist for a routine eye exam. The doctor had dilated her eyes and was shining a light into them when he noticed something was wrong.

"His whole demeanor changed," Jones said. "He said, 'We need to get you a MRI today.'"

There is no cure for the condition, which can only be managed through numerous and painful treatments. Local doctors don't feel comfortable treating her, so she travels to specialists in Scottsdale. In 2009, she was hospitalized for three weeks and had eight weeks of intravenous antibiotics to treat a near fatal infection.

Her most recent surgery was in October when she had a Cisternal Shunt put through back of her skull and placed along the brain stem to help fluid drain from the brain into a sac around the lungs.

Jones is a single mother of two children, whom she said have been her support system.

Her 19-year-old daughter, Cassie, is currently paying her own way at Yavapai College, where she is studying nursing. Her son Bryan is 11.

"I've seen children act out in difficult times. Not these two," she said. "They have stepped up to help me."

To help Jones copes with the financial drain that occurs with any serious illness, the Kingman Police Officers Association is sponsoring a raffle for a SCCY 9mm gun donated by Fully Loaded gun shop.

Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20 and can be purchased at Fully Loaded, 3001 Stockton Hill Road, or through Officer Brian Zach, (928) 753-8178. Tickets will be on sale through Feb. 14.

Zach cautioned that the winner would have to fill out the necessary paperwork and pass a background check before claiming their prize.

Jones said she appreciates all the support from her colleagues, who donated their sick time to help her maintain an income. That runs out next month.

"The medications, the co-pays, it all adds up so quickly," she said.

The KPOA often holds fundraisers, most recently over the holidays for residents of local care homes, but Zach said Jones' situation hits close to home.

"She's one of our own," he said.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2013
Article comment by: Alice/Ron Jay-French

Dearest Theresa, I am so glad to see the KPD standing by you. I applaud them. However,I don't want to buy a gun so I need a different way to support you and your sweet family. It's been a long time since that prom when you went out with my son. But the good memories remain. Best wishes. How can I help?
Alice Jay- French


Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2013
Article comment by: cynthia seibert

I can relate. In 1997, I was diagnosed with Pseudotumor Cerebri (Benign Interracial Hypertension ). I had to have a Lumbar Partial Shunt place to drain spinal fluid off my brain. It helped.I hope she makes a fast recovery.
I will keep her and her family in my Prayers.


Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2013
Article comment by: Debbie Terlesky

Theresa, what a beautiful picture. It sadden me to read about your fragile health. I've been so caught up in my own life & my own trivial problems that I have lost contact with you. Our prayers and love is with you, Cassie & Brian.

Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2013
Article comment by: Amber Lee

Unfortunately I'm not in a positions where I can donate financially, but my prayers are with your family. Kuddos to the kids for stepping up to help your mom and to the co-workers for donating their sick leave!

Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2013
Article comment by: Kim Clayton

O.M.G....
This sounds just like my condision. Diecnoist in 1991 as a suto tumor cerribri, It started with memory and muscel problems acompned with a headace. After a week of a headace that would not goaway day or night and just got worse I went to the Dr. after sevreal weeks of pain meds.for migran tretment nothing was helping. then on a sunday wall trying to get through anether day of pain I sudinly lost my eye sight. crawing to the phone I called for help. after some tests at the hospital my M.R.I. should that I had expanded ventricals
to much persure on the brain. After the nuroligest had taken fulid from severle lumbar puctures to relive the pressure my eyesighe came bake, but this was only the biging of my condesion I to would would develop an infection in my fluid. After four more years of headaces that never went away and hundreds of lumbar puctures to bring the brain pressure down to normal I finaly got a clean tap and I was amedeatly taken to surgery a lombo patnel sunt was put in place to drain the fluid from my brain.I still have memorie difficultie, so much for my collage education I dont remember my childhooh and had to learn things over again. My prayers will be with her as she has so much to learn again. To her children god bless you for being there for her my children were much to young and I was forced to send them to live with their father as I was nolonger abel to care for them with this disability, My mom and dad had to care for me through out the four years of my medical treatment. Thank god they were there for me.

I hope the miner will up date this story and follow Therese through some of the difficuly times ahead. One thing I must say is Ive had no sever headace sence my shunt was placed in 1995. good luck to theresa and all that battel this deabilatating illness.


Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2013
Article comment by: Kingman Resident

I question raffling a gun!! Isn't there something else that can be done for her to help her financially??



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