For those that don’t know me, I’m Gary Hayes, a Solution Engineer at Kimble. Married to Carol, 2 grown up kids. Standard family, (we’ve got a dog too!) kids have kind of left home (although I don’t think they will actually completely go), my wife Carol returned to work several years ago having bought the kids up, (for the millennials - that’s how it used to happen). The plan was always to have the kids early, and emerge on the other side, still young enough to enjoy the later years.
Carol had taken a job at The Old Bailey, having done jury service and enjoyed it so much, she initially took on the role of Usher, and after several years of hard work, worked her way up to Court Clerk, which at the Old Bailey means she wears a wig and gown, runs the court room, and manages some pretty cool trials, which tend to be either murder or terrorist cases, one of her more notable trials being the Woolwich terror attack on Lee Rigby in 2013.
Carol was fit and well, exceptionally so, a regular runner/gym goer – where she actually worked hard, and had done throughout her life.
On her way to work in February 2018, walking through One New Change, she bumped into a guy on her left hand side, who she simply hadn’t seen. When she stopped turned towards him and apologised she noticed there were many people there, none of whom she was originally aware of. Carrying on though Paternoster Square, she walked into a bollard, again on her left hand side.
This was now beginning to worry her, over the next few days, there were a few visits to the Opticians, and 2 visits to St Thomas’ A&E, where eventually the gave her a CT scan. My daughter Gemma, who is an ITU Doctor was with her at St Thomas’ and had a sneak view of the scan, so when the A&E Reg came into to Acute admissions and told Carol she’d had a stroke, my daughter burst into tears, “it could have been so much worse”, however 10 minutes later the A&E Reg reappeared and retracted the original diagnosis and replaced it with ‘We suspect you’ve got a Brain Tumour”.
Gemma was straight on the phone to a Nero Surgeon pal of hers , Chris Chandler, who immediately called it as a Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) – which is a Grade 4 tumour (there is no Grade 5) – You may remember Tessa Jowell succumbed in May 2018.
There then followed a Resection which confirmed GBM , 6 weeks of Radio therapy, and 4 months of chemo (Temozolomide), when they gave a her another MRI, the tumour had already re-grown.
A further (more aggressive) resection, she has just finished her 4th of 6 cycles of PCV (procarbazine, lomustine and vincristine), we’re not having a further scan until the 6 cycles are complete.
Carol is relatively young (50’s) but this can strike any age group.
Aggressive Brain Tumours such as GBM are relatively uncommon, and as such, do not attract anything like the funding that the more common Cancers do. The chances are, you’re not going to get one, however if you do, the treatments have not really changed in many years. So, we are raising as much money as we possibly can for the Brain Tumour Research.