A mother from Staffordshire, England, has thanked her baby daughter for saving her life.
Catherine Dell, 39, was enduring a 38-hour labour when doctors had to perform an emergency caesarean to bring little Jessica to the world.
But just hours after the police detective welcomed her baby girl in February 2014, she suffered a violent seizure.
When doctors ran a CT scan to find the root of the cause, they discovered Catherine had a tumour on her brain that was 4cm long – the size of a golf ball.
“I had no symptoms whatsoever, no headaches or eyesight problems. I would never have known,” she said.
Medics believe that the long labour had deteriorated her body’s natural defences of the tumour, then resulting in the seizure.
Two months after it was discovered, she had an operation to remove it. It was a benign Ganglioglioma Grade One tumour that is usually only found in one per cent of children affected by brain tumours.
Speaking about how terrified she was of the operation, she said: “My mortality was thrown into stark focus and I struggled to bond with my daughter in the fear that I was going to die and never be there for her.”
Catherine’s recovery has been a long road. She was suffering seizures for a little while as an after-effect of the surgery, and her hair took a long time to grow back over the scar across her scalp.
She’s now using her story to raise awareness and funds for The Brain Tumour Charity.
"I regained my confidence and fitness and crucially I've caught up on the time I lost with my daughter,” she said.
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