Fans of former Home and Away star Johnny Ruffo were gobsmacked recently when it was revealed he has been diagnosed with brain cancer.
Now, in a tell-all radio interview on Nova FM’s Fitzy and Wippa, the 29-year-old has opened up about the day he learnt the devastating news.
“I scared myself,” he begins. “I’d had mild headaches during the week and one Sunday afternoon, it was really bad so I went to the doctors. He gave me some medication but it didn’t do anything.”
Watch the interview below, keep scrolling for full story
Johnny says the pain became so horrific, it started to impede on his speech. His girlfriend Tahnee Sims made the call to go to the emergency department.
“My head was throbbing, it felt like a fire was burning inside,” he says. “I was slurring my words so we went to hospital and doctors put me on a drip.”
Despite believing it was likely to be a severe migraine; doctors ran some tests throughout the night. What came next took everyone by surprise.
“Around 8am the next day, they called her [Tahnee] and said you need to get down here immediately because Johnny has a brain tumour. She was in absolute tears,” Johnny says. “By this stage, I had slowly slipped into a coma and needed emergency surgery.”
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With a 1/20 chance of surviving the invasive procedure, Johnny’s life was on the line.
“The tumour was 7cm big – it was huge,” he says. “The neurosurgeon said it could’ve been growing anywhere from 2 to 10 years.”
Thankfully, the actor made it through with 95% of the tumour removed. Going forward, Johnny will undergo radiotherapy to remove the remaining 5%, followed by six months of chemotherapy.
“If I hadn’t have come in when I did, I would’ve died that night,” he explains. “The doctor said if I had gone to sleep that night, I would’ve died.”
Despite having his world turned upside-down, Johnny remains upbeat and willing to fight.
“You have to stay positive. There’s so much support out there and I’ve had so many people reach out,” he says. “The doctors are confident they can beat this but they can’t give a definitive answer. We’ll know more as the process goes along. Fingers crossed everything goes well.”
We wish Johnny all the best.