A mum has spoken out after regular symptoms lead to the diagnosis of a brain tumour the “size of a satsuma.”
Lauren Vickers, of Beeston, Nottinghamshire, had life-saving surgery in July 2020 to have a low-grade glioma removed.
The 33-year-old mother experienced symptoms including feelings of Déjà Vu, followed by periods of hot flushes, feeling faint, dizziness and heart palpitations, before she realised the severity of her condition.
She told Nottinghamshire Live : “I had a young daughter, Elise, and I was running a business, and at first I just thought it was a normal thing to feel so stressed.”
But In January 2020 Lauren suffered a seizure and later that month an MRI scan revealed she had a brain tumour.
Doctors said it was likely the tumour had been there for many years.
“I didn’t know anything about brain tumours and I made the mistake of Googling them, which only made me feel more worried,” she added.
“It was stressful and upsetting, and the scariest thought I had was the possibility of dying.
“Now I know, If you have questions you should wait until you speak to the professionals because they know what they’re doing.”
Lauren was referred to NUH consultant, Professor Stuart Smith, who gave her a range of options to consider, including surgery.
“When I had my consultation with Professor Smith, he explained everything really well and made me feel a lot more at ease.
“I had a lot of trust in him. After hearing the options I chose surgery, and it was, pardon the pun, a no brainer.”
In July, Lauren had her operation at the Queen’s Medical Centre, where she underwent an awake left temporal craniotomy with ultrasound guidance to remove the tumour.
Lauren is now being regularly monitored with MRI scans to check there is no sign of tumour regrowth.
To thank those that helped her, the mum-of-one is now raising money to support NUH and Professor Smith, who saved her life.
She is walking 100 miles this month, Brain Tumour Awareness Month, and aiming to raise £1,000 for NUH’s Brain Tumour Centre, which was recently recognised as a Centre of Excellence by the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission.
Speaking after her surgery, Lauren said: “I cannot speak highly enough of the staff at the QMC.
“Absolutely everyone was amazing, from the pre-op to the after-care.
“The little things they did, like putting my hair in a plait when they shaved part of my head for the incision, meant so much to me.
“I just feel so lucky with what they’ve managed to achieve with the operation.
“Knowing I no longer have to worry about not being around to watch my little girl grow up, I can’t thank Professor Smith and his team enough, and through my fundraising, I’d like to give something back.”
To donate to Lauren’s fundraising, please visit here.