MORE awareness of brain tumour symptoms is being called for after a Gloucester father suffered a seizure on the M5 half-an-hour after a hospital discharge.
Patrick Joyce, 44, of Tuffley Avenue, received a series of tests and scans but was told his fits were most likely to be down to an “abnormal connection” of arteries and veins in his central nervous system.
His wife Theresa, 37, said his tumour was not diagnosed until he was referred to a neurosurgeon at the university hospital in Coventry around two years after the seizures started.
Mrs Joyce, who has two sons, Keylon, seven, and James, 13, said: “We met with the neurosurgeon in Coventry who said he needed a more detailed scan, but he did confirm he had a slow growing brain tumour.
“The surgeon said it could have been there for around 15 years as there was bone growing around it.
“It has been a complete nightmare.”
Mrs Joyce said her husband suffered a seizure while working on a construction site in Worcester in 2010 but after two seizures on the same day in 2012, he was rushed to Worcester Hospital. She said he was told it was most likely to be an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in his brain, the abnormal connection of veins and arteries, and he suffered another fit on the M5 while driving home from hospital.
A spokesman for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said brain surgeons and doctors are only in specialist centres like University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, and not in smaller hospitals like Worcester.
Since he was referred to Coventry, the malignant tumour has been removed and Mr Joyce has completed chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but will have more scans this year to ensure it gets detected early if it returns.
Mrs Joyce is now working to raise money for Brain Tumour Research and awareness of how to spot symptoms early.
A fundraising event with live music from band Pholk Law, a disco and a raffle will be held at the Gloucester Irish Club from 7.30pm on Saturday, May 10.
Tickets cost £10 which includes food and table wine and are available from the club.
Mrs Joyce said: “I hope people know the signs. A lot of people think tumours all start with headaches but there can also be memory loss, vomiting, blurred speech, but my husband had a full blown seizure.
“People don’t realise that even young children can get them.”
Tumour symptoms can differ depending on which lobe the tumour forms, and can include drowsiness, short-term memory loss, apathy, becoming irritable, sickness and poor coordination.