Roller Coaster Saves Life Of Brain Tumour Patient, Emma Bassett

Roller Coaster 'Saved Life' Of Brain Tumour Patient

A student who was hours from death when she was diagnosed with a huge brain tumour has stunned doctors by making an incredible recovery.

Emma Bassett was diagnosed with a deadly brain tumour seven years ago and it was only a roller coaster ride that means she is still alive today.

It reversed her prognosis after the vigorous ride re-distributed the fluid that had been causing a dangerous pressure on her skull.

Emma Bassett was days away from death, she discovered

Emma recalled: "I had been getting really bad headaches, and being sick, as well as feeling dizzy, but my parents put it down to me being nervous about starting secondary school.

"It was only when my balance got really bad mum took me to the opticians, as we thought I might need glasses.

"But the optician told us to go straight to hospital - and the doctors who saw me there were really worried.

"I went to hospital on Wednesday, and the doctors told me that I would have been dead by Friday if I hadn't got help.

"They showed me a scan of my brain and the tumour was enormous. I told them I'd been to Thorpe Park and on all the roller coasters with my friends, and they said that had saved my life.

"I had my first operation the very next day, which left me with a shunt coming out of my head, to drain away fluid."

Doctors had feared the tumour, the size of a satsuma, was so advanced it was on the brink of killing her. It had been silently growing in the core of Emma's brain for almost seven years blocking fluid from flowing around her brain.

Devastatingly, they warned Emma that the operation needed to save her life could leave her in a vegetative state, and requiring round-the-clock care.

Doctors believed Emma would never recover to the extent she has done today

But incredibly, seven years after the operation that she believed would end her quality of life, Emma, from Twickenham, London, has stunned doctors by making a miraculous recovery.

She had to learn how to walk, talk and even eat again - but with the support of her family, her long road to recovery is finally over, and the student is now looking forward to spending a summer teaching at Camp America.

Brave Emma, 20, has now teamed up with the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust, and is championing their HeadSmart campaign - which aims to raise awareness of how to spot the early signs of a brain tumour.

Emma, who now studies Primary Teaching at St Mary's University, said: "It was such a shock to discover I'd had this tumour growing inside me, probably for years, without me knowing anything about it.

"I'm incredibly fortunate that I managed to make a good recovery after my operations.

"The doctors told my parents that I would need 24 hour care, and I'd probably be in a dependent state after the operation.

"After the operation, I couldn't walk, talk, or even feed myself. But I was determined I'd walk again and beat the tumour.

"It has taken years of hard work, but now, I'm finally able to do the things I've always wanted to and live the life I've always wanted to lead.

"At my latest scan, there was no sign of the tumour returning either, so it's great news."

She spent a year with her leg in a splint, and then a further two years walking with a crutch - and still had to have special insoles in her shoes to support her walking.

Now, the only sign of her brave battle is a slight paralysis on the left side of her face.

Emma said: "I have had so much hydrotherapy, physiotherapy and speech therapy to get me where I am today.

"The doctors thought I might make slight improvements after my operation, but they have since told me they never expected me to come anywhere near as far as I have.

"I certainly don't think they expected to see me at university and walking around.

"When I look back, I realise that I had all the classic brain tumour symptoms - but nobody, including a family member who is a nurse, spotted them.

"Hopefully, I can help other people aware of those early warning signs through the HeadSmart campaign."

HeadSmart is a project which aims to enhance the awareness of brain tumours in children, to reduce the time it takes for a diagnosis to be made.


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