Mum-to-be Susan was 12 weeks into her first pregnancy when she started experiencing migraines.
While she initially thought of them to be pregnancy-related, Susan’s migraines became more debilitating until she collapsed at 18 weeks.
It was at this point doctors found a tumour the size of an orange in Susan’s brain.
“[Susan’s] brain tumour was imminently fatal,” the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) Head of Neurosurgery Professor Kate Drummond said.
“If it grew just two millimetres larger, it would block off the spinal fluid to her brain and put her into a coma.”
With time against her, Susan was rushed to the RMH for emergency surgery.
“There was only one option - to save both lives,” Prof Drummond said.
Under the guidance of Prof Drummond, the RMH neurosurgery team worked together in a complex operation to save Susan and her baby. They performed the procedure in half the normal time - cutting open her skull and successfully removing the tumour.
Susan and her baby survived the operation and Susan and her husband George went on to welcome a healthy baby girl.
They now have three daughters.
“I think in hindsight it was definitely a lot scarier than what I experienced going through it. And that’s probably hats off to the hospital and to Kate and her team because they made me feel so comfortable and in great hands,” Susan said.
“We’re also lucky - it wasn’t a financial expense for me during that time and it’s all a part of our public system.”
“It’s amazing what things like donations can achieve for people that need it.”
You can donate to help improve the lives of people just like Susan by donating to our 2023 RMH Foundation Tax Appeal. Money raised this year will go towards vital new equipment for the Neurosurgery Department. Donate today.
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