A woman was told to “go to hospital now” after struggling to follow a holiday in Lanzarote. Mel Kelly, 22, from New Ferry, had just returned from a holiday at the Spanish resort after months of strange symptoms when she was told she had a brain tumour.
Ms. Kelly, a sports coach, had been told several weeks earlier that she did not have a tumour. Talking to the Liverpool echoshe said she was experiencing headaches and a “pulsating” and “busy” feeling in her head.
She said: “I didn’t know what to do because nobody listened to me, the doctors didn’t listen to me. They just kept passing it off as different things.
“I felt like I was going crazy reading so much online, which people say you shouldn’t do, but if medical professionals don’t listen to you, the internet was the only thing I could rely on and turn to. that moment in time.”
It was around this time that Ms. Kelly said she was starting to lose her sight.
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To combat the headaches, Ms. Kelly also took migraine medication and, with a holiday in Lanzarote in prospect, did an e-consultation with her GP.
Before going on holiday, Ms Kelly told the Echo that her eyesight “was horrible right now, literally like seeing double. I had pain all the way in the back of my ear and I didn’t know what it was.”
However, it was soon after Ms. Kelly returned that it became clear that her symptoms were a sign of something much more serious and she was sent to an ophthalmologist.
She said they told her it had been “too long, you need to go to the hospital now”. After a CT scan at Arrowe Park Hospital, she was told she had a brain tumour.
Speaking about what it felt like to be diagnosed, Ms Kelly said: “Someone had finally told me why I’ve been feeling the way out for the past few months. I think the diagnosis is still sinking in now.
“It was around Christmas, and you don’t really think it would happen to you, you always think it would happen to someone else, so it was quite a shock. I’m only 22.”
From Arrowe Park, Ms Kelly was transferred to The Walton Centre, the UK’s only specialist neuroscience hospital, and underwent surgery where 95 per cent of the tumor was removed and titanium plates fitted.
Four months later and life still hasn’t quite returned to normal. Ms Kelly said she has routine scans and eye tests every two months and checks to make sure the tumor doesn’t grow back.
Ms Kelly said: “You just have to take the good with the bad. I’m still alive, most of it is gone, so that’s most of the positivity I have to get out.”
Ms. Kelly is supported by a psychologist and supporter from the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Brain Tumor Charity, a support group for young people with brain tumors.
In a statement, The Brain Tumor Charity CEO Graham Norton said: “We thank Mel for sharing her story to raise awareness of brain tumors and wish her all the best in her continued recovery. Raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of brain tumors is an essential aspect of our work.
“Our Better Safe Than Tumor campaign is making great strides, but we know there is still a long way to go before all those affected have rapid diagnosis, effective treatment and the best possible survival and quality of life.
“More than 12,000 people are diagnosed with a primary brain tumor each year, including 500 children and adolescents – that’s 33 every day.”