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Saturday, March 23, 2024

General health update

I figured it was time I gave everyone a general update on my health and progress. I will start by taking you through my health issues then I will share my progress with you. 

So it all started 4 years ago. I had recently arrived to Spain directly from China. Shortly after that, the valve that drains my excess brain fluid into my stomach failed. It had lasted 35 years but no longer.

I started having headaches and vomiting due to the increasing pressure on my brain. So I went to the hospital here in Pamplona. They initially tried to repair my old valve but it was too old to be saved.

So I ended up having 6 brain surgeries in Pamplona. But none were successful. I had one of my 4 ventricles in my brain block off. This necessitated a surgery to implant a stent on my brain to try and restore flow to the ventricle that blocked off. 

Due to the blocked ventricle, my left eye went crooked and I lost all my peripheral vision in the left eye. I was also on a total liquid diet at the time due to my facial paralysis (due to my shunt failure) I ended up losing weight until I was down to 112 lbs/52 kg.

The stent surgery failed. It was at this time they transferred me to Barcelona where they had more shunt experience. It was there that they removed all the previous hardware and implemented a second shunt. 

These two shunts have a technology that allows them to talk to each other so they avoid the previous problem I had with one shunt working and the other not. So now they work together instead of fighting against each other. 

I ended up having 6 additional brain surgeries in Barcelona bringing my total brain surgeries to 12. If you include my surgeries as I child I have now had 29 total surgeries.

After 6 months in and out of the hospital I was finally released to go home. I started going to speech therapy (my speech has been affected by the facial paralysis) and physical therapy 4 days a week trying to regain my balance. I can walk but not well. I use a walker or wheelchair to get around. But I am not paralyzed thank God.

I need thickener added to my liquids due to my swallowing being affected. But I can eat normally. No more liquid diet!

So none of this is ideal, I have lost a lot of my independence but I can shower normally and dress myself and do most things. So my condition is not perfect but it could be much worse. I am a lucky guy and I know with time and effort I will only continue to improve not get steadily worse. 

I have one more operation to go to correct my crooked left eye but it should be a piece of cake compared to what I have already been through. I have also regained all of the weight I lost in the hospital. 

I am also very lucky that Spain has good socialized medicine so I don't have to spend the rest of my life paying off medical bills. 

The most frustrating thing by far about my current condition is that my mind is healing faster than my body is. So, sometimes my brain will send a simple command to my body and it will not respond. It is frustrating having to relearn to walk and talk. They are simple things that I took for granted. But no longer. Your brain controls a ton of things that you do not even think about until you lose the ability to do them. I look forward to the day I will be independent again. 

So overall, I am happy and doing well. I am lucky to have supportive family and friends. Thank you all. I am also thankful every day for Jenny and Eliana. I love them both. 


  1. Delighted to read your updates. 👍❤️😊🙏

  2. Thank you for the update. You are truly one of God's warriors and we are so blessed to have you. Keep improving you are "Horton Strong". We all love you and pray for you daily. So very proud of you!!

  3. Tyler you are so special and God has a purpose for you! Hang in there and I will pray your health will be restored. Look to God for healing and comfort. He gives it to those who are faithful.

  4. We are very proud of your hard work and so encouraged by your progress. It did my heart good to see a hint of a smile the other day. We love all of you so much. Mom and dad

  5. Thank you for the update. So proud of you and your spirit through your health struggles. Praying for your next chapter as God walks with you! ❤️