A TEACHER diagnosed with a brain tumour after suffering ‘foggy’ vision has praised a Sheffield charity which helped experts save her sight in a ‘miracle’ operation.
Janis Helliwell had been having eyesight trouble for six months when her tumour was picked up in a free sight test.
The Barnsley mum-of-two was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour in May but is already back at work as a full-time teacher after a three-hour operation to remove it.
Surgeons used a specialist skull base endoscope, which allows them to access hard-to-reach brain tumours.
Without the £70,000 equipment, funded by Sheffield charity Neurocare, which supports the neurosciences ward at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, they would have been forced to open up her face.
Janis, aged 48, who is mum to Annie, 13, and Frances, 11, said: “I was alarmed to hear I had a tumour on my pituitary gland and I would need an MRI scan and operation. I’d never even heard of a pituitary gland before, so it was a lot to take in.
“Once my husband and I read up on my condition we realised how serious it was.
“I didn’t feel frightened - I just had to go with it.
“My consultant explained he was going to use the endoscope and reassured me there would be no visible signs of the procedure, despite the fact he would have to do a lot of work inside my head.
“When I came round I thought I’d been part of a miracle. I distinctly remember seeing the clock opposite my bed being really fuzzy as I glanced at it before the operation but when I came round I could see clearly that it was 12 noon.
“The realisation I was still alive and I could see instantaneously was overwhelming – a wonderful experience.”
She is now planning to show her appreciation to Neurocare by taking part in their Head Start 5km run on Sunday, April 17.
Participants can walk, jog or run around the course at Rother Valley Country Park, which is made up of two circuits of the lakes.
Janis added: “It will give me the opportunity to give something back to Neurocare and the Royal Hallamshire Hospital. I can’t thank them enough.”
n Visit www.neurocare.org.uk to sign up for the run.