A young mum-to-be has been tragically diagnosed with a brain tumor after waking up unable to move her toes

A young woman has been left heartbroken after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour, after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Laura Elizabeth Mahon first felt something was wrong with her health when she was unable to move her toes after waking up.

The 29-year-old was sent to Walton Center Hospital for an MRI after her GP believed her baby was pressing against a nerve in her back. But after several tests and scans, the mum-to-be – who was only 20 weeks pregnant at the time – was told she had an incurable brain tumour, with just two years to live, Echo of Liverpool reports.

“I didn’t think about it too much, after all I was pregnant and felt tired.” says Laura. “But things got worse the next day and I couldn’t move my right leg and had difficulty walking. Over the next week I couldn’t feel much of my right leg.

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“I was given the devastating news that I had a brain tumour. They told me it had probably been there for years and years and had now started to grow.

“It was such a shock, I’m only 29 and I didn’t think anything like this could happen to me. I was so focused on the baby, but I was getting worse and worse.”

Doctors told Laura they were dealing with a very unique case and wanted to keep her in hospital before deciding what to do next. But when she became extremely ill at 27 weeks pregnant, Laura and husband Danny, 28, made the difficult decision to deliver their baby girl at 30 weeks.

Sienna Grace Laura Mahon was born at 30 weeks and weighed just 3.4 pounds at Warrington Hospital on November 30, 2021. Laura said: “I couldn’t walk properly, I was sick and I I was so tired. After many heartbreaking conversations, Danny and I made the hardest decision of our lives and decided to deliver our daughter at 30 weeks.

Laura has been told she has two years left to live after giving birth at 30 weeks

“During my planned C-section, the midwifery team put me under general anesthesia so that I was totally relaxed. They didn’t want to put pressure on my brain because of the risk of further complications.”

However, Sienna was taken to the neonatal ward and placed in an incubator, but after suffering a collapsed lung she was transferred to the Royal Oldham Hospital for more specialist care. Laura said: “I got released from Warrington Hospital, although I wasn’t really well enough, because I wanted to be with Sienna.

“Danny and I followed her to Oldham, where she was placed in an incubator for a week. We weren’t allowed to visit due to Covid restrictions. We really wanted our family to be with us, so it was very stressful for both of us.”

Doctors found Laura’s tumor had doubled in size and was inoperable after having an MRI scan on December 9. Because the tumor was on his motor cortex, he wouldn’t be sure to remove it.

“They were only able to do a biopsy, but they were only able to remove about 20% of it,” Laura said. “I was devastated because I had hope. It was yet another setback, bad news upon bad news.”

The young mother learned a few days before Christmas on December 22 that she had two years left to live after receiving the results of her biopsy. The couple then decided to wed on January 6 – after getting engaged in April last year.

Laura and Danny registered Sienna’s birth the next day and on January 8 she was baptized in a chapel at Warrington Hospital, where staff held a party with food and gifts. Laura began a six-week course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy the following week, and on January 17 Sienna left the hospital weighing five pounds.

Baby Sienna suffered from a collapsed lung after birth
Baby Sienna suffered from a collapsed lung after birth

Laura said: “Danny and I prepared for the worst. We knew deep down what it was going to be like, but being told at 29 that you have inoperable stage four brain cancer and I had no that two years to live is something you can never prepare for. Hearing that out loud was a moment we will never forget.

“It was so surreal, like I was living two separate lives. Everything felt good, like we were a happy family, so I would remember how bad I am. But it’s so special to have Sienna with us is like what we originally envisioned.”

An MRI in early April showed Laura’s brain tumor had stabilized and even shrunk a little. She said: “It was a huge relief, and it was so nice to hear something positive.”

Laura added: “Right now we’re trying to get out and do nice things to make memories together, but I have to take each day as it comes. It’s hard sometimes and I break down and cry. But Sienna’s lung has repaired and she is doing great now.

“I see other people with GBM who manage to live longer, so I cling to the idea that I could be one of those people. I fight as hard as I can and I stay strong for my family. “

Laura and Danny on their wedding day
Laura and Danny on their wedding day

Brain tumors kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet historically only 1% of national cancer research spending has been allocated to this devastating disease. Matthew Price, Community Development Manager at Brain Tumor Research, said: “We are truly grateful to Laura for working with us as it is only with the support of people like her that we can advance our tumor research. brain and improve the outcome for patients who are forced to fight against this terrible disease.

“Unlike many other cancers, brain tumors are indiscriminate. They can affect anyone at any time. Too little is known about the causes and therefore increased investment in research is vital.”

Brain Tumor Research is the only national charity in the UK solely focused on finding a cure for brain tumours, campaigning for an increase in national investment in research to £35million a year. It also raises funds to create a sustainable network of brain tumor research centers in the UK.