Pregnant mum feared husband’s moods meant he wanted to leave – but he was battling deadly tumour
PREGNANT with their second child, a wife was convinced her husband’s dramatic mood swings meant he was about to leave her – when in fact he had a deadly brain tumour.
For three years, former electrician Leo Jones, 30, of Porthcawl, had been experiencing increasingly intense headaches, but doctors had never managed to identify the cause.
Wife Kimberley, 29, said: “His personality had completely changed, too.
“I was worried that he didn’t want the baby, or he didn’t love us any more. I was worried he was going to leave us.
“But the reality was there was a tumour slowly spreading through his brain.”
Leo and Kimberley, who is now his full-time carer, had been instantly attracted when they met through mutual friends nine years ago.
Their chemistry was so powerful that Leo, who had been planning to go travelling in New Zealand a few months later, invited Kimberley to join him. She agreed, selling everything to spend two years abroad with him.
When they returned, they settled in Porthcawl, married and were delighted when Noah, now four, was born three years later, just before which Leo’s headaches had started.
Kimberley said: “He had always been fit and well, so it was unusual. He went to the doctor, but he was told it was nothing to worry about.”
The headaches intensified and Leo went back and forth to the doctor for advice, but was never given a diagnosis.
Then, when Kimberly fell pregnant with their second child Evelyn in August 2014, Leo’s health deteriorated and his headaches became so severe, he had to spend days in bed.
“The pain was so bad, he was literally banging his head against the wall,” Kimberley said.
“They would be really severe, before subsiding and coming back again.
“I even asked him if he was putting it on, because they kept coming and going, and he was so moody. I said I couldn’t put up with it any more and had to ask our family for help.”
Leo’s mother Anita Jones, 57, even took him to the doctor, but still received no definitive answers and, in the meantime, his headaches became unbearable.
He received hospital at- tention twice at Christmas time in 2016, but was sent home on each occasion with medication.
In the end, the couple booked a private appointment at the Princess of Wales Hospital in nearby Bridgend in February 2016, when Evelyn was eight months old.
But on that day, Leo started to shake uncontrollably.
Kimberley, who still took him to the hospital, recalled: “The doctor looked in to his eyes, saw a mass and sent us straight for a scan.
“They told us they’d found a tumour and Leo was relieved that someone was finally taking him seriously.
“That day, they transferred us to Cardiff’s University Hospital of Wales, where they had better facilities.
“Our daughter was eight months old. She’d just started using her feet, so we were talking about going to buy her shoes.”
From there, everything happened at breakneck speed, as doctors battled to save Leo’s life.
Told he would not be able to leave hospital, he was diagnosed with a high grade two astrocytoma glioma – a type of brain tumour that originates from the brain, rather than from elsewhere. Within two months, this had changed to a more serious grade three anaplastic astrocytoma – a rare malignant brain tumour, which grows throughout the organ.
“I was so shocked. I had wondered about it being a tumour, but I just thought the doctors would have found that, so had ruled it out,” said Kimberley.
“Now they told us that if we had left it for a couple more days, he would have been dead.”
Leo had 11 hours of emergency surgery the day after the tumour was detected, to remove as much as possible.
This was followed by another five-hour operation in April 2016, after Leo started to deteriorate again.
“It was meant to be another 11 or 12-hour op, but they had to stop after five hours,” Kimberley explained.
“The tumour was wrapped around everything.
“He was awake this time, whereas he’d been sedated before, and when his speech stopped, they had to stop. He couldn’t speak for a couple of months afterwards.”
On top of the complicated surgery, Leo had 30 rounds of chemotherapy, followed by radiotherapy.
Despite the treatment, the couple have been told that his condition is terminal and he has been given between one and three years to live.
Kimberley said: “When we found out, we were