Kelly Stafford recovering from complicated brain surgery: 'Truly God's work'

DETROIT, Mich. — Kelly Stafford, the wife of former Georgia and current NFL star quarterback Matt Stafford, is recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor.

Kelly Stafford posted a video to Instagram on Sunday, showing her taking some of her first steps after the 12-hour surgery in Detroit.

“This Easter is the beginning of a new life for me,” she wrote.

After feeling dizzy and off-balance in January, doctors diagnosed Kelly Stafford with an acoustic neuroma.

"An acoustic neuroma is a benign tumor that grows not from the brain, but actually from the covering of one of the cranial nerves," Dr. Dan Barrow, chairman of Emory's Department of Neurosurgery, told Channel 2 Action News.

Barrow did not treat Stafford but told Channel 2 Action News he knows the neurosurgeon who did.


Problems with balance and hearing loss are common symptoms of acoustic neuroma.

“Eventually if these continue to grow without treatment, they can actually be life-threatening. Not something that happens imminently, but as they get larger they can compress the brain stem,” Barrow said.

Treatment options include surgery or a focused beam of radiation.

In Kelly Stafford’s case, it was surgery.

But what was supposed to be a 6-hour operation turned into 12, with the discovery of an abnormal vein.

Stafford is thankful her neurosurgeon was ready to handle the complication.

“He had seen it before and written a paper on it. That’s truly God’s work,” Stafford wrote.

Stafford is now recovering in her Detroit-area home.

Her husband Matt is quarterback for the Detroit Lions. The couple started dating at Georgia where she was a cheerleader and he was a record-setting quarterback. They married in 2015 and have three daughters.