A family have told of their shock after their dad’s personality change turned out to be an early sign of a fatal illness.
Alexandra Lewis, 38, and her two siblings Nick Lewis, 43, and Victoria Jarvis, 45, first noticed that their father Philip Lewis, 73, had become withdrawn and quiet at the beginning of January 2021.
They initially believed that it might be due to him worrying about his wife Janet Lewis, 71, who was undergoing treatment for advanced breast cancer, Nottinghamshire Live writes.
However the children of Mr Lewis, from West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, were in “total shock” after he was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumor shortly after he suddenly started to struggle to find words.
Alexandra, who runs a dance school, said: “Dad’s whole personality changed.
“On January 27, mum was admitted to the City Hospital in Nottingham and, the next day, we noticed dad was struggling to find the right words and was a bit confused when speaking, so we contacted his GP who thought he might have suffered a stroke.
“He was referred to the stroke clinic at Queen’s Medical Center in Nottingham the next day. He had an MRI scan which revealed he actually had a frontal lobe brain tumor.
“I was in total shock and just couldn’t believe it. I kept thinking ‘how could this happen?’”
Mr Lewis had surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible. He then began radiotherapy at City Hospital on March 16 – one day after his wife, Janet, died in the same hospital from advanced breast cancer.
After suffering three strokes, Mr Lewis moved into The Grand Care Center residential home in West Bridgford.
Mr Lewis died four weeks later in hospital, on July 21, 2021, with his son, Nick, by his side.
To remember her dad, Alexandra is marking Brain Tumor Awareness Month by taking part in Wear a Hat Day on March 25 in support of the charity Brain Tumor Research.
“I’m doing this to remember dad and to raise awareness of this devastating disease,” she said.
“It was frightening how quickly I deteriorated. In the end, he wasn’t like my dad and he didn’t know who I was.”
Brain tumors kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.
The Wear A Hat Day fundraiser has generated more than £2 million for Brain Tumor Research to help fund the fight against the disease.
Matthew Price, community development manager at Brain Tumor Research, said: “Unlike many other cancers, brain tumors are indiscriminate.
“They can affect anyone at any time. Too little is known about the causes and that is why increased investment in research is vital.
“We’re really grateful to Alexandra for taking part in Wear A Hat Day as it’s only with the support of people like her that we’re able to progress our research into brain tumors and improve the outcome for patients like Philip who are forced to fight this awful disease.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.