When 18-year-old Amber Hanna suffered from headaches for eight years, doctors assumed they were caused by “teenage stress”.
But one night, when the pain became unbearable, Amber was rushed to the hospital in February 2020 and doctors were shocked to discover an explosion. Brain Tumor.
Amber, from Belfast, said: ‘I woke up around 5am and went into my mother’s room and told her I was really feeling sick.
“I was acting really weird, not the normal me. My mother waited until 8 a.m., when the doctors opened the door and she called them, and my doctor called an ambulance.
“I can’t remember, but I feel like I’m in a lot of pain. I had a really, really bad headache. I really couldn’t move and I was vomiting a lot. My mother took me to her bed, and she had to lift me up because I was sick, because I couldn’t move.
“When the ambulance arrived, they suspected a brain hemorrhage so they took me to the Royal Infirmary in Belfast and they scanned me and found a ruptured brain tumor and bleeding in the brain.”
An MRI scan showed that the tumor had ruptured due to two veins wrapping themselves around it.
Doctors rushed to put a shunt into her brain to relieve some of the pressure from her skull, and days later, Amber performed surgery to remove the tumor.
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She said: “Two days after the catheter was placed, they did another surgery where they glued the tumor together to make it easier to remove and on Friday they took it out.”
Fortunately, further tests showed that the tumor was not cancerous, so Amber did not need chemotherapy or radiation.
However, she spent a month in the hospital recovering and when she came out, the world was engulfed. by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Amber said: “I was in for almost a month, I didn’t even know about Covid. My mother stayed with me in the hospital so since we were in a state of panic we didn’t really know what was going on.”
Amber started suffering from severe migraines when she was 8 years old. They continued through her teenage years, but repeated visits to the doctor always resulted in the same answer.
“Doctors told me it was a tension migraine. Because I was 16, and because I had a stressful childhood and I was at school doing my GCSEs, he made it stressful. They started when I was about eight or nine years old. I am always sick. My attendance has dropped to 60%.
“But a 16-year-old shouldn’t have a migraine like that.”
Unfortunately, Amber developed epilepsy shortly after her surgery and she is now taking regular medication to help control any seizures.
“A few months after the surgery, I started having really weird episodes of deja vu that were really scary, and hungover, and I had no idea what it was,” she said. The hospital also didn’t know what it was because I didn’t have chronic convulsions at that time.
“Then I was on my way to a memorial for a family member and I was in the car and I started throwing in the car and started pointing at places. My mother took me home and took me to the hospital and I was detained. in three days.
“I was examined and she said I had focal epilepsy, or partial epilepsy. I had those for a while and that led to chronic epilepsy. “
It’s been a stressful couple of years for Amber and mom Daniella Edgerton, but the brave girl says she’s feeling much better.
Around 200 people die from brain tumors each year in Ireland and the charity is determined to find a cure for the disease.
“They have support groups on Facebook and you can email them and just talk to them if you need to,” says Amber. They are really helpful. I’ve used their services, it’s really nice to talk to people who’ve been through what you’ve been through. ”
Instead of talking about the trauma of the past two years, Amber is determined to share her story so that everyone can learn about the signs to watch out for related to brain tumors.
Looking back, Amber thinks there have been other warning signs, as well as migraines, including episodes of dizziness, crippling fatigue, and bouts of depression and anxiety.
She said: “My mental health has been really horrible since at the age of 12 I suffered from depression and anxiety. It’s really, really bad. I think now, after I had surgery, it wasn’t that bad so I personally think that has something to do with it. It was like headaches, feeling nauseous, hangovers, and I had eye pain behind my eyes. ”
In fact, There are many signs and symptoms of a brain tumor may vary depending on the age of the person involved.
The most common warning signs in children include persistent headache, vision changes, nausea and vomiting – especially in the morning, balance problems, delayed puberty, excessive thirst , seizures, and behavioral changes including lethargy and loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed.
Amber says, if anyone is in doubt, contact their GP immediately and get a CT scan done if they are concerned.
She added: “Definitely push for a CT scan, a CT scan or an MRI scan. Keep pushing.
“I think with doctors, they relieve the stress of adolescence, and many people don’t think brain tumors can happen to young people. I certainly never thought I would get a tumor. brain but it happened to me.”
https://www.thesun.ie/fabulous/8225902/headache-eight-years-actually-burst-brain-tumour-irish-teen/ I have had headaches for eight years