Drs: Former American Idol Contestant Diagnosed With Brain Tumor


The Doctors: Heather Cox Coe Brain Tumor

Heather Cox Coe first got the attention of millions of people across the country when she appeared on season five of American Idol. What most didn’t know, was that Heather spent years suffering from pain with no answers. Heather was a top 20 finalist on the show in 2006 and after competing, she came home and it was all back to reality. In March of 2010 she started getting daily headaches and migraines, accompanies by severe nausea and vomiting, setting off non-epileptic seizures. She struggles just to get out of bed.


Over the last four and a half years, she’d been hospitalized 18 times. After a year of talking to several different doctors and trying many different medications, she still had no answer. She underwent a second MRI and was finally diagnosed with a brain tumor in the center of her brain. She was told it was inoperable and there was nothing they could do. Curtis, Heather’s husband, said it was like watching his wife “waste away in front of his eyes.”

Drs: Former American Idol Contestant Diagnosed With Brain Tumor

Former American Idol contestant Heather Cox Coe opened up about her brain tumor and the surgery she underwent to remove it. (isaacmao / Flickr)


The Doctors: Brain Surgery To Take Care Of Tumor

Heather did some research and ended up going to talk to Dr Hrayr Shahinian, who knew that her tumor was the cause of her symptoms, and said he was goig to give Heather her life back. Heather knows her three kids need her, and she doesn’t want them to have to be without her. Heather put her trust into Dr Shahinian’s hands, hoping that he could get her to where she needed to be. The procedure was done using a high-definition endoscope.

The Doctors: Results Of Brain Tumor Removal

Heather and her husband Curtis joined the show and shared that the hardest part for them was to watch their kids suffer through her diagnosis. The process has been hard on the family and Curtis hated having to see his wife struggle without being able to help her. Heather persevered and they just announced that they’re pregnant with their fourth child. The baby is due on the one year anniversary of her brain surgery, which is pretty incredible.

Heather said for the first time, she’s feeling like she’s thriving rather than surviving. Dr Shahinian explained that Heather’s tumor was so deep, literally at the epicenter of the brain, that they had to create a whole new approach, going through the back of the head between the upper and lower brain. The endoscope can go places the human finger cannot. As Dr Travis Stork said, it’s certainly remarkable what he was able to do.

The Doctors: Heather Cox Coe Performance

Because Heather is an American Idol alumn, one of her peers, Chris Daughtry, sent a video sharing that he was glad to hear Heather’s surgery went well. He said he couldn’t wait to see Heather perform again soon and if he’s ever in her area, she could come join him on stage. “Keep your head up kid, I’ll see you out there,” Chris said.

The Doctors then had Heather take the stage and perform “Letter from God” for them.


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