Scottish newlyweds left with ‘eyes wide open’ as doctors fear rare form of cancer


A Scottish newlywed has been forced to tape his eyes shut after developing ‘Bell’s palsy’, but doctors now fear he may be suffering from a rare form of cancer.

Joe Beaver suddenly developed a “terrifying” facial palsy while at the movies with his wife on Boxing Day last year.

The 46-year-old, who is from Glasgow but now lives in London, turned to A&E and ended up being held for two weeks.

Joe’s symptoms have left him with difficulty moving his mouth to speak and unable to close his eyes.

joe beaver
Joe Beaver has to cover his eyes with sleep tape after suffering from facial paralysis

Doctors initially thought the stepfather had Bell’s palsy, but now they suspect he has lymphoma of the central nervous system.

Joe told Record: “I was at the movies with my wife Rachelle on Boxing Day when I felt a part of my face go completely numb.

“I realized that I couldn’t close my eyes and it hurt when the wind hit my eyes.

“It was terrifying. The doctors thought he had Bell’s palsy.

“That day I ended up in the ER and I didn’t go out for two weeks, I haven’t been able to close my eyes since then without tape.”

“My life has completely changed, it’s hard for me to speak and I’m in a lot of pain.”

joe beaver
Joe Beaver is awaiting the official diagnosis from doctors who suspect he may have a very rare cancer.

Trainee detention custody officer Joe said he first suspected something wasn’t quite right when he unusually fell asleep during a shift volunteering as Santa before Christmas.

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He added, “During a shift as Santa, I fell asleep. A friend joked, ‘Look, Santa is resting,’ but in retrospect, something must have been wrong at the time.”

“In the days after that I noticed I had a problem with my balance and then I started having shoulder pain, headaches and my face felt a bit numb. I was also sleeping more than usual.”

joe beaver
A friend noticed something wasn’t quite right when Joe Beaver fell asleep during a shift volunteering as Santa in December.

“I’ve never had any health problems and I’m not one to go to the GP unless it’s serious so I’m quitting.”

“In fact, my boss sent me to the doctor on December 23 when he noticed I was out of balance.”

His GP diagnosed Joe with Bell’s palsy; a temporary weakness or lack of movement affecting one side of his face and sent him home on steroids.

The stepdad said he felt “too exhausted to cook Christmas dinner” but things changed when Joe’s face became partially paralyzed on Boxing Day.

Joe, who used to run 10Ks and volunteer for charities, says he suffers from body aches and vision problems that now force him to walk with a cane.

His inability to close his eyes means he must wear sunglasses during the day and tape his eyelids shut to “stop the pain” or go to sleep.

Joe Beaver and Rachelle Whalley
Joe Beaver and Rachelle Whalley got married in Liverpool in October last year.

After being admitted to the hospital, Joe underwent two CT scans, an MRI, two lumbar punctures, and a bone marrow biopsy.

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Initial test results showed elevated white blood cells in his brain, cerebrospinal fluid and blood, and enlarged lymph nodes in his neck, groin and gastric junction, while his spleen was twice the size it should be.

Doctors have warned her that she may have a rare form of cancer, and now she is awaiting test results for a full diagnosis.

Joe, who hails from the Govanhill area of ​​Glasgow, moved to London to be with his girlfriend, Rachelle, 44, in June last year before the couple married in October.

joe beaver
Joe Beaver’s crippling facial palsy means he sometimes has trouble speaking

The newlywed lovebirds had shelled out for their ceremony just two months before Joe was struck down by his symptoms.

Now that Joe is unable to work, his wife Rachelle has launched a GoFundMe page to cover the couple’s living costs and hopes to pay for specialist surgery not available on the NHS that will allow Joe to close his eyes again.

Over £1,500 has been raised so far, leaving the couple feeling “totally overwhelmed”.

Head over to Joe’s GoFundMe page to donate.

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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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