Kathi Goertzen, who has been battling a benign brain tumor for the past 11 years, underwent over 10 hours of surgery on Wednesday as doctors worked to remove parts of the tumor that had been growing, causing the veteran anchor to lose control of much of her face.
“We accomplished everything we hoped to accomplish,” doctors told her family afterward, according to KOMO.
Anchor Dan Lewis, who has worked alongside Goertzen since 1987, taped a special video message (above) on Wednesday evening, updating the thousands of concerned fans that have flocked to Goertzen’s newly launched Facebook page.
As Goertzen recovers from surgery–she is expected to be in intensive care for the next couple of days–her family is finding strength in the over 40,000 people that have connected with her on Facebook.
On Tuesday, Goertzen set up a Facebook page to keep viewers updated on her progress as she prepared to enter surgery. Word spread quickly after KOMO aired a special segment that evening in which Goertzen provided a candid account of her condition. By Wednesday night, the page had amassed over 35,000 fans.
“Every day, KOMO receives e-mails, phone calls and Twitter and Facebook posts asking about Kathi’s condition. It was Kathi’s idea to do a story and let people see the toll the tumors have taken,” Jen Kuglin, one of KOMO’s web staffers, told Lost Remote. “She felt Facebook was a great way to put the pictures out there and to interact with supporters.”
According to Kuglin, the Facebook page far exceeded expectations, as over 20,000 users offered Likes in less than 24 hours. As of this post, the page is up to nearly 43,000.
Here’s the story that KOMO aired on Tuesday: