Morghan Gunn from Fife was just 21 when neurologists found a tumour on his spine. Here, Morghan shares his story and explains how Teenage Cancer Trust helped him and his family get through the toughest of times. For Morghan, it all started when he was 17 with an ache in his back; then came shooting pains in his left arm: then numbness in his fingers and on the left side of his head. Morghan felt like he was becoming seriously ill, but the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong:
“They thought it was just a trapped nerve and gave me painkillers and muscle relaxants. They sent me for an X-Ray and said there was nothing there.”
Soon, Morghan was struggling to walk, and the pain had spread all over his body. As his condition worsened he began to fear that one day, he’d wake up paralyzed:
“It was not until I was 21 that I saw a health professional who was filling in for a doctor. He said that it wasn’t normal and referred me to a neurologist.”
The neurologist quickly discovered that Morghan had a tumour that was blocking his spinal fluid. The news was devastating for his parents, but all Morghan felt was relief:
“Nobody had been listening to me and I was starting to think it was all in my head. But nobody should feel relieved to hear they have a tumour.”
Morghan was then informed that the tumour was growing and that an operation was required to save his life. It was at this time that he was introduced to Teenage Cancer Trust’s Outreach Nurse, Maureen:
“She phoned me regularly and checked in on me. She also supported my parents and put them at ease.”
Maureen put Morghan in touch with a psychologist to help him deal with the life-changing news. She also attended appointments, helped him to understand all the information he was being given, and supported him following spinal surgery when he had to learn to walk again:
“I found it useful to have Maureen there as I knew my case was really rare and there weren’t any pamphlets they could give me on it. She gave me lots of information and answered any questions I had.”
Morghan is still living with the life-changing impact of his illness but with Maureen’s help, and the support of his loving family, he's facing the future positively.
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