Father thought to have glue ear battled a satsuma-sized tumour
Father-of-two, 37, whose headaches were dismissed as glue ear battled a satsuma-sized tumour
Father-of-two, 37, whose headaches were dismissed as sinus problems by doctors has a satsuma-sized tumour removed from his brain after 15 years
- Andrew Potts also started suffering vision and hearing problems
- Scan later revealed a tumour but doctors insisted it was not dangerous
- After becoming nauseous, doctors operated on the tumour in a 12-hour surgery
- Tumour was non-cancerous but causing deadly pressure to build-up in his skull
- Believes he was misdiagnosed due to poor awareness around brain tumours
A father-of-two whose agonising headaches were dismissed as sinus problems was actually battling a satsuma-sized tumour.
Andrew Potts, 37, from Cleadon, South Tyneside, is thought to have had the tumour for 15 years before it started affecting his hearing and vision. Concerned, Mr Potts went to see his GP, who sent him home with antibiotics.
After his wife Julie, also 37, urged him to get a second opinion, a scan revealed Mr Potts’ tumour, however, doctors insisted the growth was not dangerous and the managing director was sent home again.
Yet when Mr Potts became severely nauseous, Julie once again insisted he see a specialist, which led to him enduring 12-hour surgery to remove the tumour on June 12, as well as a week-long stay in hospital.
Mr Potts said: ‘They cut me from ear to ear and peeled the skin back from my forehead and lay it over my nose while the surgeon cut away a piece of skull to remove the tumour. He put my skull back together and sewed me back up.’
Although tests revealed the tumour was not cancerous, the pressure it was causing within Mr Potts’ skull would have eventually killed him.
Mr Potts is speaking out to raise money towards The Brain Tumour Charity.
Father-of-two Andrew Potts’ agonising headaches were dismissed as glue ear and sinus problems. After seeking a second opinion, scans revealed a satsuma-sized tumour in his head. Mr Potts’ (pictured after) was forced to endure 12-hour surgery to remove the growth
To remove the growth, Mr Potts claims he was cut ‘from ear to ear’, before his skin was peeled ‘back from my forehead while the surgeon cut away a piece of skull to remove the tumour’. Screws and staples were then used to fix his scalp back in place, with him being ‘sewed up’
Mr Potts wife Julie, 37, (pictured with their children Katie-Rose, 11, and Louie, six) insisted the managing director get a second opinion on two occasions
‘I’m very lucky to be here’
Speaking of his tumour, Mr Potts who is father to Katie-Rose, 11, and six-year-old Louie, said: ‘The medics believe the brain tumour lay there for about 15 years.
‘I played football, cricket and even took part in a charity boxing event. I have been hit in the head on many occasions and it could have burst, but it didn’t. I’m very lucky to be here.’
After Mr Potts’ GP sent him home with antibiotics, Julie pushed for him to see a specialist at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI).
He said: ‘I was referred to the RVI to an ear, nose and throat specialist who said it wasn’t a sinus problem and had serious concerns it was something else and referred me to a neurologist.
‘I went for a private MRI scan and was told the brain tumour was very large but wasn’t dangerous, which was hard to comprehend at the time.
‘I went back to work but had another illness episode where the pressure on my brain was causing pain and sickness and my wife took me to the RVI.
‘It was then a doctor showed me a scan of my brain and said the tumour was the size of a satsuma.’
Mr Potts has since learnt the tumour, which was not cancerous, had been in his head for 15 years. If left untreated, the pressure it was causing in his skull would have killed him
Since having the operation in June, Mr Potts is recovering well and had his staples removed
‘The pressure in my skull would have been so much I would have died’
Speaking of his diagnosis, Mr Potts said: ‘[Doctors] sent the tumour away for tests and they said it was a grade one tumour, basically it was benign.
‘But they said if it wasn’t discovered, the pressure in my skull would have been so much that it would have made my body shut down and I would have died.
‘I’m so grateful to my surgeon and the staff at the RVI, they were all brilliant and I owe my life to them.’
Mr Potts is keen to raise awareness of brain tumour symptoms, saying: ‘I was misdiagnosed three times and I genuinely believe it is due to lack of understanding in some doctors’.
He is preparing to take part in the Great North Run on September 9, which he is training for with his daily six-mile jogs to the office after being banned from driving due to this tumour.
Mr Potts said: ‘My aim is to raise as much money as possible to help the charity which raises awareness in identifying that someone has a brain tumour.
‘All charities need money, and if by me raising money for the charity can help someone in the future, then I’m more than happy to put my body through hell.’
Donate towards Mr Pott’s run here.
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