Mum feared she would never see newborn baby again after brain tumour diagnosis

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Marie Garnett, 45, from St Helens, Merseyside, suffered headaches for years before she was diagnosed with a brain tumour ‘the size of a golf ball’ and underwent three long surgeries

A mum feared she would never see her newborn baby again after she was rushed to hospital with a brain tumour ‘the size of a golf ball’.

Marie Garnett, 45, from St Helens, Merseyside, suffered headaches for years but only found out she had a tumour when she lost her balance.

She was diagnosed with the benign meningioma brain tumour six weeks after the birth of her daughter, Amelia, in 2015.

By the time she was taken to The Walton Centre, her headaches had become ‘unmanageable’, the Liverpool Echo reports.

She spent over a month undergoing treatment and had to undergo three long surgeries, one being eight hours, as well as having to battle meningitis.

Ahead of the surgery Marie said she feared she wouldn’t see her husband and newborn daughter again.

Marie said: “The night before my first brain surgery, I said goodbye to Amelia and my husband Darren.

“When Darren went to the toilet, I whispered to Amelia ‘look after your daddy’.”

Marie’s husband, Darren Garnett, said: “It was the best and worst year of our lives, our gorgeous daughter Amelia was born but just six short weeks later Marie was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

“That fateful day was the start of the nightmare that included words like ‘craniotomy’ and ‘shunt’ with phrases like ‘open you up’, ‘remove part of your skull’ and ‘might not wake up the same’ none of these are nice as you can expect.”

Marie also suffered mentally following the operation, particularly being separated from her new baby.

She said: “There was one point where for about 48 hours I was waking up and I didn’t want to wake up. I was in a dark place, I felt like I was being tortured.

“It was so difficult being away from my baby, Amelia was at home just six weeks old. “

Following the operation Marie essentially had to learn to walk.

She added: “After the operation I struggled to walk, but I did it.

“At first, it took two physios to get me from my bed to the nurses’ station and when I first left hospital, I could only do 300 steps per day – even just going to the shops was exhausting.

“But I kept pushing my boundaries. I appreciate my legs and the ability to use them every single day, because some people with neurological conditions are not as lucky.”

Marie still has hydrocephalus, which is a build up of fluid in the brain, and needs a VP shunt, a medical device that relieves pressure on the brain by reducing the accumulated fluid, meaning she could need more emergency brain surgery at any point.

To give thanks for the counselling and support they gave her, Marie chose The Brain Charity to raise money for, as well as this Maria was keen to support their cause as her daughter Amelia, now six, was diagnosed with severe learning disabilities before her first birthday; she has global development delay, epilepsy and is non-verbal.

It is unknown whether Marie’s brain tumour led to her daughter’s health issues.

Marie added: “So what better way to celebrate life, beautiful and miraculous brains and legs by completing the Virtual London Marathon.”

On October 3, Marie completed the virtual London Marathon, running the 26.2 miles from her home in Haydock, to Manchester, and back, and completed this in seven hours fifteen minutes.