Ex-NFL star Alex Smith reveals his six-year-old daughter Sloane needed 10-hour brain surgery


Ex-NFL star Alex Smith reveals six-year-old daughter Sloane needed 10-hour brain surgery after doctors found ‘a very rare malignant tumor’

  • On Saturday, the father-of-three shared on Instagram that his daughter, Sloane, was ‘rushed to the ER with stroke-like symptoms’ on May 10 
  • She ‘had an MRI and the doctors performed an emergency craniotomy
  • Sloane, 6, is now back to her ‘true form,’ according to her father on Instagram
  • Although the exact type of tumor she had wasn’t revealed, it is one with ‘very few documented cases — without a clear road map for treatment’, he said
  • The surgery was performed at Stanford Children’s Health in San Francisco
  • Brain cancer is rare, detected in about one in 15,000 Americans every year official figures show

The six-year-old daughter of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith was diagnosed with a ‘very rare malignant tumor’ and needed a 10-hour brain operation, the ex-NFL star shared on social media. 

On Saturday, the father-of-three shared on Instagram that his daughter, Sloane, was ‘rushed to the ER with stroke-like symptoms’ on May 10,’ adding that she ‘had an MRI and the doctors quickly informed us that she had a large brain tumor and needed an emergency craniotomy.’ 

A surgery that lasted 10 hours at Stanford Children’s Health, located outside of San Francisco, was described as ‘the most excruciating time of our lives,’ Smith wrote. 

‘The incredible neurosurgeons @stanforchildrens did a miraculous job and were able to remove 100% of the tumor,’ the former Kansas City Chiefs player added on social media. 

Sloane, 6, is now back to her ‘true form,’ according to her father, even though there are ‘very few documented cases — without a clear road map for treatment.’ 

‘We are currently awaiting more tests and gathering as many opinions as we can from doctors across the country to decide the best path forward. We wish this were easy, clear-cut and someone gave us a how-to guide. It’s anything but that,’ the one-time first overall NFL draft pick revealed. 

Sloane Smith, six, is seen in hospital surrounded by stuffed animals after her 10-hour surgery at Stanford Children's Health

Sloane Smith, six, is seen in hospital surrounded by stuffed animals after her 10-hour surgery at Stanford Children’s Health

Smith, 38, shared x-ray scans of his daughter's 'very rare malignant' brain tumor on Instagram

Smith, 38, shared x-ray scans of his daughter’s ‘very rare malignant’ brain tumor on Instagram

Smith, first from left, his daughter Sloane, center, mother Elizabeth, and the couple's two sons, Hayes and Hudson

Smith, first from left, his daughter Sloane, center, mother Elizabeth, and the couple’s two sons, Hayes and Hudson

Sloane has ‘healed’ from surgery and is ‘back to her bubbly self. Singing, dancing, laughing and feeling good,’ her father wrote, describing his only daughter as an ‘incredibly strong girl that has a ton of fight in her.’ 

Smith went on to thank ‘our amazing medical team, family, friends, acquaintances and even some strangers who have touched our lives in the last month and a half. 

‘We have struggled to keep up on calls, texts, communication and trying to keep loved ones updated. This has been by far the most challenging time we have EVER been through. We know it’s not over and we have a journey ahead of us, but without all of you we could not have gotten this far,’ he concluded in his Instagram post. 

Brain cancer is rare, detected in about one in 15,000 Americans every year official figures show.

Although it remains unclear which type of tumor Smith’s daughter needed surgery for, different types of brain cancer detected include glioblastoma — the most deadly form of brain cancer where fewer than half of patients — 40 percent — survive after a year of being diagnosed.

Just 17 percent of patients survive more than two years after diagnosis. Experts warn it can lead to death within six month if left untreated. 

President Joe Biden’s son Beau died from this cancer in 2015 after being diagnosed in 2013.

Being exposed to high levels of radiation and having a weakened immune system are key risk factors for brain cancers, experts say. 

Other symptoms include persistent headaches, double or blurred vision, vomiting, loss of appetite, changes in mood and personality, seizures and gradual onset of speech problems. 

Smith, 39, pictured with his two sons, wearing king's crowns, and his daughter Sloane, far left

Smith, 39, pictured with his two sons, wearing king’s crowns, and his daughter Sloane, far left

The family of five are often seen sharing costume ideas on Instagram. The former 49ers player thanked doctors at Stanford Health after they performed a 10-hour brain surgery on his little girl

The family of five are often seen sharing costume ideas on Instagram. The former 49ers player thanked doctors at Stanford Health after they performed a 10-hour brain surgery on his little girl

Smith played 16 seasons in the NFL although he was sidelined for two of them with injury

Smith played 16 seasons in the NFL although he was sidelined for two of them with injury

The former NFL player's double leg break has been cited as among the greatest in NFL history. Smith managed to come back and play professional football after shattering both his fibula and fibula in his right leg in November 2018

The former NFL player’s double leg break has been cited as among the greatest in NFL history. Smith managed to come back and play professional football after shattering both his fibula and fibula in his right leg in November 2018

Smith, 38, is a former NFL star who played for the San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs and then-Washington Redskins. He played in America’s top football division for 16 years after playing college football at Utah.

During his first season with Washington, Smith, who was 34 at the time, shattered both the fibula and tibia bones in his right leg in a game against the Houston Texans in November 2018.

Doctors described his severe leg break as a ‘life-threatening injury’ that almost resulted in amputation.

Smith wasn’t expected to play again. However, after completing a long period of rehabilitation, he miraculously played for Washington again before retiring during the 2021 off-season. 

The former quarter then joined ESPN as an analyst later in the year, and has since made appearances on Sports Center, Monday Night Countdown and this year’s Super Bowl LVI and 2022 NFL Draft.

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