Dad dies after ‘permanent headache that wouldn’t go away’ turned out to be a tumor

Karl Griffith, from Penwortham, Lancashire, had never had a day off from work when he was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumour, despite doctors initially telling him he was just stressed out.

Karl Griffith and his wife Lara
Karl Griffith and his wife Lara

A father of three has died after suffering from a “permanent headache that wouldn’t go away” that turned out to be a brain tumor.

Karl Griffith was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) mass and passed away on January 6 at just 54 years old.

Wife Lara, 43, said her partner was otherwise in very good health and had never had a day off from work, while often enjoying walks and runs for charity.

The operations manager at Tulketh Mill in Preston, Lancashire first noticed something amiss in May 2020, reports LancsLive.

Karl’s GP told him his headaches were due to stress and advised him to take a few days off work.

Karl was surrounded by his family when he died.



Karl was very active before his diagnosis and often did charity runs.



Lara, from Penwortham, saw her earlier calm and loving nature change and she became “really cranky”, often complaining that her food was “wrong”.

“I thought I had early-onset dementia,” said the grieving widow.

However, as Karl’s condition deteriorated, more puzzling blood tests from July came back all clear.

He returned to his GP in September 2020 before being referred to Royal Preston Hospital, where a scan revealed the mass in his brain.

Lara said: “He was never sick, he never drank or smoked, and he ran every day. So, it was a big shock for all of us.”

“Karl was someone who was always on the go, constantly and never stood still.”

Karl was referred to Preston Royal Hospital, where scans revealed the tumor.


Daily Mirror/Andy Stenning)

She said that as a viewer, she felt “helpless” as her husband grew sicker and his personality continued to change, though he never knew it.

“All we did as a family was try to keep things as normal as possible,” he continued.

Karl “never accepted that he wasn’t going to get better” and so not being able to work or drive shattered his reality, his wife explained.

Lara, a travel consultant, admitted to being such a “practical person” that she also thought chemotherapy and an operation would surely save him, despite what the doctors had said.

A month after diagnosis, Karl underwent an awake craniotomy and had three tumors removed, but a fourth had to be left because it was so deep in his brain.

Lara said: “Karl was doing very well, but since the end of November, I saw him decline every day and he lost his sight in one eye.

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“I couldn’t get him up so Karl had to go to St. Catherine’s Hospice in Preston. He was hallucinating and thought the nurses were trying to kill him.”

Karl died peacefully with his wife and children Alannah, 10, Indi, 15, and Livinia, 22, by his side.

Lara said brain tumors are “so indiscriminate” and advised anyone in a similar position to “trust your instincts.”

“Karl had never been to the doctor for anything, so I think they should have taken it a little more seriously at first.

“You know yourself and your loved ones, most everyone, so keep pushing and keep pushing if something isn’t right.”

Lara is working with charity. Brain Tumor Research to help raise awareness.

Statistics show that brain tumors kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other type of cancer; however, historically only 1% of national cancer research spending has been allocated to this devastating disease.

The charity is the driving force behind the call for £35m annual national spending to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukemia and is also campaigning for increased drug reuse.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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