A young mum’s brain tumour went undetected for a decade — because she dismissed it as tiredness from being a busy mum-of-four.
Emily Corrigan, 32, was diagnosed with a brain tumour — which was the size of an orange — 10 years after it first started growing.
Emily said she dismissed dizziness, fatigue and headaches in the years before her brain tumour was found and put it down to life looking after four young children.
But the school secretary from Milton Keynes, in the UK, was finally diagnosed when her partner, Stewart, 42, saw her having a seizure.
She has since undergone two brain surgeries, with the most recent being in October 2018, in a bid to save her life.
Emily is now sharing her story to warn others not to dismiss extreme fatigue.
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She added: “I was so tired all of the time and had terrible headaches and pains. I just ignored it because I knew I was tired and thought it was normal for a mum of young kids to feel like that.
“The tumour was present probably since I was 18. Looking back now the signs were fairly obvious that something wasn’t right, but I just dismissed it.”
In the year before she was diagnosed, Emily decided to go and see a doctor because of the crippling headaches and fatigue she was experiencing.
With an MRI booked, Emily decided to cancel the appointment after she convinced herself she was wasting everyone’s time.
She said: “I was getting terrible flashing pains in my head and was very tired. I had four young children and just dismissed the symptoms to being busy running around after them.
“In hindsight there were definite signs. I was far more tired than most mums I know, but time and time again, I just put it down to being a busy mum.
“I’d be up early with my kids from the crack of dawn until late at night, so I never thought anything of it.
“In the year or so before I had the seizure I was just slowing down. I put on weight and had no energy and felt lethargic all the time.
“I had flashing pains for about three years. They were always in the same place in my head.
“I convinced myself that nothing was wrong with me.
“If I’d gone then and had that MRI the tumour would have been found, and something could have been done about it earlier.”
The tumour was eventually found in July 2015 after Emily suffered a catastrophic seizure at home after an increase in headaches.
Rushed to hospital after being found by her partner Stewart, Emily was in a coma when her family was told she had a brain tumour.
The 4.2cm by 4.5cm tumour was removed by surgeons before it returned in October 2018, meaning that she had to have more surgery.
Emily said: “It’s been so hard and has taken such a huge toll on us all.
“I’ve been able to manage with the kids as best as I can, but the surgery and treatment has taken any energy out of me.
“The kids have been great, but it can be difficult at times when I explain to them what’s happening to me.”
Emily has completed 30 sessions of radiotherapy and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
Friends and family are raising $ 3500 on GoFundMe to help support Emily and her family financially