A form of brain surgery may be Ryan Stockdale's last hope for relief from torturous cluster headaches, his wife says.
Cluster headaches - sometimes called suicide headaches, because the agony is enough to make some people want to kill themselves - assault Stockdale, 28, around the clock. He screams and screams in pain.
"There are times you have to go out on the porch because the sound rips you apart," said his wife, Karia. "No human should have to suffer in this form."
The Stockdales and their four children live in a house they won in 2007 after being chosen by the producers of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," a TV show that helps struggling families get back on their feet by building them new homes.
Ryan Stockdale's condition has become severe since those broadcasts. On Wednesday, the Stockdales made a final, written appeal to Ryan's former employer to have an operation on his brain covered by his health insurance.
His former employer is Omnipure Filter Co., a self-insured Caldwell company. The procedure, called deep brain stimulation, could cost up to $140,000, the family said.
"It will give him a chance at life without immeasurable pain," the appeal says. "It will give him a chance to, again, be a father and a husband."
While the cost is high, in the long run it's cheaper than the estimated $25,000 to $30,000 his prescriptions and other health care costs each month, the family contends. "In simplest terms, it costs about $350,000 a year to maintain Mr. Stockdale in a constant state of immeasurable suffering," according to the appeal.
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