“14 yrs ago today I married the love of my life, @jeanniegaffigan. Together we’ve created 5 children, 5 hour specials, 2 books, 2 seasons of a TV show and one massive brain tumor,” Jim wrote on Facebook on Wednesday in a post that racked up 30,000 likes and hundreds of comments from his nearly 800,000 followers. One Facebook user even joked, “Nice work, it took my husband and I nearly 28 years for 3 kids and metastatic breast cancer!”
In May, comedy writer Jeannie, 47, told People that she had experienced headaches, dizzy spells, severe coughing, and hearing loss — symptoms that led doctors to discover that the mother of five had an apple-sized tumor wrapped around her brain stem. “I was a ticking time bomb, waiting to be paralyzed,” Jeannie told People.
Her exact diagnosis: benign papilloma of the choroid plexus. On April 18, Jeannie underwent a successful nine-hour surgery, but during recovery she contracted aspiration pneumonia, which ultimately required her to use a feeding tube and have a tracheotomy.
On Wednesday, Jeannie shared her “long and slow” progress with People, writing, “Now that the tracheotomy is removed, I find my hand moving to my throat several times a day in disbelief that I can now breathe without the aid of an oxygen tank. The surgery left my throat temporarily paralyzed and swallowing is a nearly impossible feat.”
Jeannie also explained how her health scare strengthened her ability to appreciate the “little things,” writing, “My love for my [five children], which seemed boundless before, has multiplied a thousand fold as has my love for Jim. The marriage vow ‘in sickness and in health’ became more than just words, and I am inspired every day by the strength and courage of the man who held everything together through this hurricane brought on by the brain tumor.”
The parents were always upfront about Jeannie’s health with their children, Marre, 13, Jack, 11, Katie, 8, Michael, 5, and Patrick, 4, People reported in May, and Jim and Jeannie cracked “tumor jokes” as a way to cope.
That month, Jim also tweeted a video of the couple prepping her feeding tube, joking that they were working on the name of a “feeding tube restaurant.”
— Jim Gaffigan (@JimGaffigan) May 24, 2017
Read more from Yahoo Style + Beauty:
- Sweet Photo of Elderly Man Feeding Wife Ice Cream Goes Viral
- Kim Kardashian West’s Surrogate Is Reportedly Pregnant
- Inside the Weight Loss Camp for Wealthy Women