A hospital porter inadvertently saved his own life by going into work on his day off.
Michael Lock, 50, had been suffering from a severe headache and numbness in his left arm while covering a shift.
Michael – who was working at Yeovil Hospital at the time – was rushed to A&E in the hospital he worked in.
A scan revealed he had an inoperable glioma – a brain tumor – which was causing a swelling and build-up of fluid in his brain.
“Had he decided to stay at home it would have been fatal,” said doctors.
However, against all odds, Michael survived, thanks to the rapid response from staff at the hospital.
“I had no other symptoms before I woke up with a headache that day,” said Michael, from Yeovil, Somerset.
“Despite taking paracetamol, that didn’t work, I still went in to cover my colleague’s shift and I’m glad I did.”
He now works part-time as a support worker for a charity based in Somerset.
The tumor continues to grow on his brainstem – which causes memory problems and led to Michael having a mini stroke.
Surgery is not an option as removing the tumor would cause life-changing injuries.
He instead lives with a permanent shunt in his head, which helps drain the build-up of excess fluid.
He said: “My life has changed since finding out I have a brain tumor.
“Although my daily routine consists of different medication, I am more focused on living rather than working all hours of the day, which is what I used to do.”
To mark 20 years since his diagnosis in May 2003, Michael is taking part in fundraising event The Walk of Hope for the Brain Tumour Research charity.
The event, on 30 September, is raising funds to help find a cure for brain tumors.
Michael said: “When I asked the prognosis, the doctor said ‘having a brain tumor is like living with a ticking timebomb’ and that thought is horrible.
“It’s important that we keep talking about brain tumors to get this disease spoken about in front of the people who can help us be part of a positive change for existing and future patients.”
According to Brain Tumour Research, brain tumors kill more men under 70 than prostate cancer, but just 1 percent of the national spend on cancer research is allocated to brain tumors.
The charity is calling on the government to ringfence £110 million of current and new funding to kick-start an increase in investment in brain tumor research.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager