A DAD who was told Zoom calls during lockdown may be causing his neck pain has been left devastated to learn he has an inoperable brain tumour.
Gary Nelson, 42, began suffering aches and pains while working long hours remotely during the pandemic in April this year.
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The marketing manager contacted his GP and was told the discomfort may be posture related, down to excessive laptop use and too much time making Zoom calls.
But after the 42-year-old’s vision deteriorated he was referred for tests which revealed the shattering diagnosis that he had an aggressive tumour on his brain stem.
Tragically, this was likely caused by radiotherapy he received for a low-grade tumour as a kid.
Gary, from Chester, will now undergo chemotherapy as an operation would leave him paralysed from the waist down and radiotherapy could lead to brain damage.
Wife Amy, 40, a charity worker, said: “Gary has suffered two brain tumours in the past but both were operable and he went on to recover well.
“Another brain tumour diagnosis was the last thing we were expecting, having been reassured that he had probably been having too much screen time on Zoom calls.
“Some rest did help to alleviate the aches and pains for a short time but a few weeks later, things got worse.”
Due to the coronavirus restrictions, he was on his own when he got the results. He was so brave
Gary then started experiencing blurred vision and he was sent for MRI scans.
Amy said: “Due to the coronavirus restrictions, he was on his own when he got the results. He was so brave.
“I sat in the car park listening in over the phone when the doctor broke the news to us that they had found a ‘shadow’ in his brain stem.
“We later found out that the tumour is high-grade. It was just devastating.”
The most well-known environmental risk factor for brain tumours is exposure to radiation, especially if used for previous cancer treatment.
After his childhood tumour, Gary was diagnosed with another aged 34 while living in Dubai after experiencing similar symptoms to those he had suffered as a boy.
He was losing his sense of touch and struggling to complete basic tasks such as fastening his shoelaces or doing up his belt.
He was referred to the American Hospital and within days he was undergoing life-threatening surgery to remove the tumour.
The operation was successful despite being told there was a strong chance Gary would be left in a vegetative state or wouldn’t survive.
After moving back to England, regular MRI scans detected regrowth of the tumour in August 2019 and Gary began six weeks of radiotherapy.
This was the last time it could be offered to Gary because he had reached his lifetime limit of this type of intensive treatment.
It means Gary’s treatment options for the brainstem glioma tumour found in April this year are now limited.
Last month they were joined by 16 friends from all over the UK, as they took on an 11k Walk of Hope in Chester.
Matthew Price, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research said: “We were so sorry to learn about Gary’s diagnosis and wish him all the best for his ongoing treatment.
“We are incredibly grateful to Gary, Amy and all their friends for their support — not only for their fantastic fundraising but for helping to raise awareness of this awful disease.”
To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Gary and Amy’s fundraising page, click here.