A HOLYWELL mum has described how she is lucky to be alive after a shock brain tumour diagnosis during pregnancy.
Carrie-Ann Greenwood was 36 weeks pregnant when a sudden loss of vision on her right side prompted her to visit the optician.
She was referred for an MRI scan which revealed a tumour the size of a golf ball on her pituitary gland.
The diagnosis in May last year led to an emergency Caesarian section to deliver daughter Cerys, followed by brain surgery within a week.
Now Carrie-Ann is preparing to join The Twilight Walk in Chester on October 1, following a 10k route around the city alongside others in support of The Brain Tumour Charity.
Cerys, 16 months, will be there with Carrie-Ann’s parents, Jane and Mark, and her partner Andrew to wave her off as the walk begins at 4.30pm at Chester Racecourse.
The route takes walkers across the Queen’s Park Suspension Bridge and around the City Walls before returning to the racecourse as dusk falls.
Carrie-Ann, 28, said: “The Brain Tumour Charity helped me when I had no idea what to expect after my surgery.
“Having a tumour on my pituitary gland followed by surgery to remove the tumour caused all sorts of hormonal changes – I didn’t know whether what I was going through was normal.
“They helped me and now I want to give something back.”
Carrie-Ann, who works as a sales assistant at Abakhan in Mostyn, began to experience daily headaches and blurred vision while she was expecting Cerys but put her symptoms down to pregnancy.
Things came to a head after a meal out when her brother sat on her right hand side and Carrie-Ann realised to her horror that she couldn’t see him at all without swivelling her head.
The optician she consulted detected an abnormality behind her eye and referred her to her GP, who told her to go immediately to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd for a scan.
Doctors there initially planned to induce her labour but when they sought advice from neurology specialists at the Walton Centre in Liverpool, they were warned that could cause a fatal increase in pressure inside her skull.
So Cerys was born by Caesarian section at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and cared for initially by Carrie’s mum while Carrie herself was rushed by ambulance to the Walton Centre
Surgeons managed to remove most of the tumour during a six-hour operation although she must take lifelong daily hormone replacement medication because of the damage to her pituitary gland.
But Carrie-Ann says she has a huge amount to be grateful for – and she is determined to stay positive.
“What’s the point in being miserable? At the end of the day I’m going to enjoy life because I’m still here”, she said.
The Brain Tumour Charity funds research into brain tumours as well as providing support for those affected by the disease.
Geraldine Pipping, the charity’s director of fundraising, said: “We are immensely grateful to Carrie-Ann for her support.
“Her determination to help others whose lives have been affected by a brain tumour diagnosis is an inspiration to all of us at the charity.
“The Twilight Walk is a unique event which unites people diagnosed with a brain tumour and those who have lost loved ones to the disease. We are looking forward to welcoming all of the walkers who have signed up to join the walk in Chester on October 1.”
Taking part in The Twilight Walk costs £15 per adult and £10 per child. Under-fives are free.
To find out more, or to register, visit http://bit.ly/SignUpChester