Preg­nant mum feared hus­band’s moods meant he wanted to leave – but he was bat­tling deadly tu­mour

Glamorgan Gazette - - Your Views - LAURA ABERNETHY news­desk@waleson­line.co.uk

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

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