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Joseline Chen's story


For about a year, Joseline Chen had a noise in her left ear. She describes it as a heartbeat-like sound and a “whoosh,” making it hard to hear. It gave her headaches and made her physically weak.

“I tried to ignore the symptoms because I have two kids and I needed to help them with their remote learning. But the symptoms kept getting worse,” says Joselin, a stay-at-home mom. 

She saw otolaryngologist Kathryn Noonan, MD and was referred to neurosurgeon Adel Malek, MD, PhD at Tufts MC who upon imaging, found a vein that had narrowed in Joseline’s brain. 

“Everybody in the office was great. From the receptionists just being so kind to the doctors who let me tell them what was happening,” Joseline explains. “They didn’t ignore my symptoms. And they figured out what was wrong with me.” 

To alleviate her condition, known as Left Transverse Sinus Stenosis, she tried medication. When that didn’t help, Dr. Malek suggested inserting a stent to open the vein and allow blood to flow normally. 

“I was nervous about the procedure,” she recalls. “Everyone in the room calmed me down. One nurse patted my head and told me to think of a happy place. When I woke up, I was amazed how fast it went.” 

The care team consistently explained what was going to happen and when. They answered all of her questions. This made a huge difference for Joseline. 

“Clearly, they all knew what they were doing. It put me at ease,” she notes. 

Today, the noise is gone and Joseline can hear normally. The headaches are gone. She is grateful she can focus on her kids. 

“I’m so thankful for how they treated me,” she says. “They took care of me and I want to say ‘thank you.’”