While most students will spend this season trying to get work done and taking photos with friends before winter break, some will spend much of the season on bed rest.
Such is the case for Fruitland High School sophomore Adorah Samples, 15, who was hospitalized at Saint Alphonsus Medical Center- Ontario for thyroid surgery in November.
Signs of trouble first appeared to Adorah’s mother, Vicky Tremayne, when Adorah exhibited out-of-character behavior.
“Adorah started throwing fits,” said Tremayne via email on Dec. 9. “I was advised to take her to Lifeways for evaluation; I did that. After getting meds, Adorah noticed a lump on the right side of her neck.”
In September, Tremayne brought her to an urgent care facility in Fruitland and their family’s doctor for further tests.
That led to a biopsy at Saint Alphonsus in October, in which doctors found a growth of “suspicious cells,” according to Tremayne.
“All Adorah could say [was], “Mom, I’m going to die,” Tremayne recalled. “All I could do is tell her, ‘No you’re not.’”
As the growth proved not to be cancerous, Adorah successfully underwent surgery on Nov. 11 to remove the rapidly-growing mass from her neck.
“We felt 50 tons of weight we had been carrying around was lifted off our shoulders,” said Tremayne. “Adorah now has an 8 inch scar across her neck, plus the right side of her thyroid is gone.”
Tremayne said Adorah’s 17-year old brother and her nieces, ages 6 and 3, have come together to show support for her.
“When she felt sick they would encourage her they would sit with her for company, they would tell her she wasn’t going to die, they would tell her [they love her] and shower [her] with love,” said Tremayne.
Tremayne said Adorah’s through the worst of it now, except her voice hasn’t returned yet.
“She has no voice, but it’s improving. Not much, but she has mellowed out.”
While Adorah’s medical bills are covered by insurance, Fruitland High Principal Marci Haro said her students have been selling poinsettias this month, raising money to help Adorah’s family with related expenses.
“Adorah is a great student and nice person. We wish her family all the best,” said Haro.
Once she’s healed up, Adorah hopes to make her way to the Pacific coast for a spell.
“Before the surgery and after she asked if I could somehow take her on a ocean trip to relax and see the water in the winter,” according to Tremayne. “I said I would find a way to take her. As of right now Christmas is coming so we can’t take the trip as of yet. The whole ordeal was a rollercoaster ride, up then down, up then down.”
Adorah was released from the hospital after 24 hours and is now resting at home.