We are regularly asked how Nick Thomm is doing and why he hasn’t been on the air over the last few months. Nick has been executive producer of Kresta in the Afternoon, Ave Maria news director, film critic and creator of “Today’s Fascinating Facts” for sixteen years. Recently, however, he has been forced by his battle with a brain tumor to radically cut back on his work.
In 2006, Nick was diagnosed. The tumor was situated where doctors couldn’t risk removing it in its entirety. To do so would have meant eliminating some basic motor skills. Since that time Nick’s regimen of medication, care of himself and steady diet of prayer had us all feeling as though everything was “fixed” or nearly so because of Nick’s consistently good work.
But after an MRI last fall, the doctors determined that another round of radiation was necessary. Subsequently, the tumor now appears dormant and not progressing. But the radiation destroyed brain cells that left Nick with diminished speech and control over his right side. This has made it impossible for him to do on-air work or carry on sustained conversation. He is also hampered in his movement and often uses a cane or walker. Intellectually, he remains as strong as ever and comprehends everything we discuss but he can’t formulate the responses in the clarity or speed required to be on microphone.
He has been undergoing treatment to deal with radiation necrosis and its aftermath. This includes physical and occupational therapy in Michigan. He and his wife Jen and their three children have been traveling to Duke Medical in Durham, North Carolina for ongoing diagnosis and treatment. In February, Nick and Jen shared the podium at World Marriage Day and spoke movingly about the role that suffering has played in their marriage. She will soon be sharing part of that story on an upcoming Kresta in the Afternoon and Catholic Connection.
Recently Jen summarized the current medical situation:
The most recent MRI shows that the current course of treatment is working. Blood pathways within the brain are reopening after the trauma of radiation last year. Nick is still experiencing the effects of radiation in regards to his speech and motor function. It will be a long road with lots of therapy but we are confident this will improve in time. Thank you for your continued prayers.
So praise God and please continue to keep Nick and Jenn and their children in your prayers.