Dad’s tumour grew outside his skull after surgery failed - giving him time to have baby

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Mike’s skull failed to fuse together properly following surgery in April 2021, which led to the tumour seeping out

Mike Hawthorn was diagnosed with grade two meningioma following a routine eye test. His tumour grew outside his skull after a failed surgery, which relieved the pressure on his brain and gave him the time to have a baby.

Mike, who worked as a client services manager, was diagnosed with the condition aged 26. Part of his tumour seeped out through a crack in the bone of his skull after it failed to fuse together properly following surgery in April 2021.

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This meant the tumour started growing outside of his skill, which relieved the pressure on his brain and led him to live 14 months more than expected. During that time, his wife fell pregnant and the couple welcomed a baby on March 6, 2022.

Sadly, the pressure from the tumour eventually got too much and Mike died in July 2022 aged just 33. Mike left behind his widow Emily, 32, and their five-month-old son, Edison.

His friends are now running the London marathon in his name for Brain Tumour Research. Friends Ben Angliss, Alex and Matt Roberts and their friend Jordan Ganley will run 26.2 miles to raise money in his memory.

Emily, of Ashford in Surrey, said: "Following the surgeries Mike’s skull didn’t fuse back together properly. Part of the tumour seeped out through a crack in the bone and started growing on the outside of his skull.

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“In one way it was great because so much of the tumour was on the outside, and not pushing on his brain, it gave him about 14 more months of life. I’m so proud Mike’s friends are taking on the London Marathon, it’s amazing.

"They did so much for Mike when he was alive, I’m so glad they want to make a difference to other brain tumour patients dealing with this horrible disease. When I tell people about what happened to Mike, and how common brain tumours are, they are always so shocked.’’

Mike and Edison.Mike and Edison.
Mike and Edison. | Brain Tumour Research UK SWNS

Mike was being treated using an experimental drug called Avastin at the Royal Marsden Hospital at the start of 2020. The treatment cost £3,500 per infusion and around £80,000 in total – but the tumour did shrink.

However, eventually the Avastin stopped working and in April the tumour began to grow again, causing the skin at the back of his head to split. Mike was supposed to have more neurosurgery to remove the mass, however, Mike contracted an infection and became too ill to have the surgery.

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Emily added: "I can’t wrap my head around why treatments like Avastin aren’t available on the NHS. It’s all so wrong. The Avastin was incredible, it worked so well, and it gave Mike more time with his family and friends.

"It was his dream to have a baby and on 6 March 2022 our son Edison was born. Mike was over the moon, he absolutely adored Edison and we felt complete. The week before he died Mike was complaining of excruciating pain.

‘’He was not one to complain at all, so I know it must have been awful. It seemed too much for an infection, so I pushed for an emergency MRI scan.

“It showed the tumour had tripled in size and the pressure of it had pushed part of his brain down into his neck. It was heartbreaking knowing he had been in so much agony.”

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