A RAINWORTH student was ‘30 minutes away from death’ after a hospital and GP failed to spot a deadly brain tumour.
But Christopher Burn is now looking forward to spending Christmas at home after life-saving surgery and treatment.
The 22-year-old began suffering migraines, double vision and sickness but was sent home from The University Hospital of North Staffordshire on two occasions.
Following the second visit, he collapsed and was rushed back to hospital by his Keele University housemates.
Scans revealed Christopher, of Brecon Close, Rainworth, had a tumour in his head the size of a ping pong ball.
“Doctors said I had got to hospital just in time as I was only 30 minutes from death,” Christopher said.
Four days later, on 4th December last year, Christopher had surgery to remove the tumour which left him with a 20cm scar.
Tests showed it was a germ cell tumour of the brain, a very rare type of cancer. The cells, very similar to those that would normally go on to become testicles as a foetus develops, had been in his brain since birth
Christopher added: “I had gone to the hospital twice and they sent me away both times. A GP had referred me to an optician, who seemed more interested in selling me a pair of glasses.
“It turns out the three symptoms I had were the three biggest warning signs for a brain tumour.”
Following surgery, Christopher was moved closer to home to King’s Mill Hospital where he spent Christmas and New Year, before moving to Nottingham City Hospital for chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.
Christopher is now well on the road to a full recovery and hopes to resume his university course in January. He has already completed a bio-chemistry degree and is training to become a teacher.
Dad Michael (63), who works as a Santa Claus at Center Parcs during the festive period, said it was tough last Christmas being jolly for other children while praying for his own child to get better.
He said: “I had to keep up Santa’s jolly character as I listened to all the eager children asking for their favourite toys, but I was wishing I could myself ask Santa to bring me the only present I wanted that Christmas – for my son to get well.
“Thankfully, this year we’ll be spending our perfect Christmas together with Christopher and all the family around, the best present Santa could ever bring.”
Michael is taking part in a Santa fun run at the National Water Sports Centre, near Nottingham, on Saturday to raise money for Cancer Research and is urging others to sign up.
He said: “As a family we realise how important the science and research that Cancer Research UK fund. I’m urging people around Nottinghamshire to be Santa for the day, put on their own Santa suit, and take part in the Santa run.”
The event begins at 11.00am, entry is £15 for adults and £10 for children under 16. The fee includes a Santa suit.
To enter visit www.onestepbeyond.org.uk/cancer-research-uk-santa-run-2012.