Lisa, pictured here with daughter Ruby, received the shocking news that she had an incurable meningioma in 2006 (Picture: PA Real Life)
A woman who was advised to terminate her pregnancy by doctors due to an ‘octopus-style’ brain tumour that could have proven fatal has welcomed a healthy baby girl.
Lisa Connell, 42, was diagnosed with an incurable meningioma – a benign tumour of the membranes that cover the brain – in 2006, the year after she had developed double vision during a pregnancy that she, sadly, miscarried.
Medics warned that pregnancy could kill Lisa, but a decade later she gave birth to a healthy daughter – and she credits a psychic medium for her ‘beautiful little girl’.
Full-time fundraiser Lisa, of Northaw, Hertfordshire, said of the news she had the tangerine-sized tumour: ‘I was told I would never, ever be a mum. It hit me hard, I love children.
‘It was terrifying to think that I would never have my own family and do the things I wanted to do.
‘It was horrifying enough to be told that I had a brain tumour, but devastating to also be told that I couldn’t have children, because the pregnancy hormones would “feed the tumour,” putting my life at risk.’
Debulking surgery was one of the procedures she had to reduce the tumour’s impact (Picture: PA Real Life)
While pregnant in 2005, she experienced blurred vision and was initially prescribed new glasses, but asked to see a specialist at London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital a year later, after hitting her car on a bollard.
By then, experiencing a noticeable squint in her left eye, she was still completely unprepared for her brain tumour diagnosis.
Lisa said: ‘As soon as they said brain tumour I thought I was dying straight away.’
Along with the treatments she had to have, Lisa was devastated to learn her condition may affect her chances at motherhood (Picture: PA Real Life)
Worse was to come in the following months when the ‘tentacle layers’ in her tumour – which she was told could not be cured – were pressing on and moving around crucial nerves in the brain and caused partial paralysis from her waist down.
Spiralling into a dark mood, Lisa said: ‘I was very depressed and wanted to give up.
‘I’d be paralysed intermittently from the waist down. For two days I’d be paralysed, then my movement would return. I was falling all over the place, and grabbing walls to stay upright.’
Doctors advised Lisa to terminate when she fell pregnant in 2015, but she medium’s message convinced her not to (Picture: PA Real Life/Annelie Popovic Photography)
Eventually, in 2009, Lisa had Gamma Knife surgery at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in central London, but the procedure was unsuccessful.
Debulking surgery – an operation to reduce the tumour’s size – then took place in 2015, but less than 5% of the mass was able to be removed. Still, this enabled doctors to perform tomotherapy at central London’s St Thomas’ Hospital in 2013, in …read more
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