Horror reason behind mum’s headaches
Warning: Graphic images
Lisa Shurety had always been fit and healthy, so when she began experiencing excruciating headaches, she just put it down to being a new mum.
It wasn't until the mother-of-two suddenly collapsed in 2018 when it was revealed her sleepless nights were in fact the result of 16 brain tumours.
Ms Shurety, from Waltham Abbey, Essex, went on to have three brain surgeries - gamma-knife surgery, radiotherapy, cyberknife and immune therapy - leaving her with severe nerve damage.
Her horrifying ordeal began in 2011, when the young mother was diagnosed with melanoma and had a cancerous mole removed from her back.
But to her shock, seven years later her situation worsened after doctors discovered that the cancer had spread.
In February 2018, Ms Shurety began experiencing throbbing headaches combined with constantly feeling sluggish.
She put it down to having just given birth to her second daughter Emily, now two, with her husband Paul.
Later that month, the pain got so bad that Ms Shuerty frantically searched for pain killers during the night, only to collapse a short while later.
"Waking up in the night for feeds became the new norm," Ms Shuerty said. "When I was woken up by another headache, I just got up as usual to take painkillers. That's the last thing I remember."
Ms Shuerty, who has been given just months to live, said when she next opened her eyes, she had endured major brain surgery to remove a tumour.
She is telling her story to raise awareness for cancer and vital funds for further treatment to reduce the size of more tumours in her brain.
"I have endured countless operations: three brain surgeries, gamma-knife surgery, radiotherapy, cyberknife, immune therapy and physiotherapy," she said.
"My left arm, hand and leg are severely damaged as a consequence of the brain tumours and nerve damage during surgery to the tumour on my pelvis. Daily life is a struggle and I need 24/7 care and support."
Ms Shuerty's home has had to be modified to help her navigate more easily, however she said most days are spent in bed either dealing with ill health or coping with treatment.
Following her Melanoma diagnosis in 2011, the UK mum said she had no idea and was not warned it could spread and cause such devastation.
However, she has persevered thanks to close friends and family, adding that her husband and daughters (Emily, 2, Megan, 10) are her motivation and dedication "to fight this horrific disease".
"Every birthday and Christmas since I have been diagnosed in the back of my mind I wonder if this is the last one they will have with me," she said.
"My heart bleeds when I look at my beautiful family I love them so much I just can't bare to think I won't be with them for much longer."
The heartbroken mother said she wants to be there for Emily's first day of school and when Megan starts secondary school next year.
"I want to be a normal mummy and wife," she said.
"They have been punished enough over the past 2.5 years with me not being able and not being around much."
Ms Shuerty's next treatment will involve shrinking three more of her brain tumours and five new ones in her lungs, but as the procedure isn't available on the NHS, she will have to pay at least £100,000 ($A180,000) to get it done privately.
"Recent changes to my work medical healthcare means I can no longer get the treatment I need to prolong my life which has helped me over the past two half years," Ms Shuerty said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with medical costs. So far they have raised $54,400.
"Without this treatment - which is not available via the NHS - my chance of beating this horrific disease isn't likely."
Ms Shuerty thanked those who have generously donated to help in her fight against the terrible disease.
"I feel extremely uneasy asking for help but it is a necessity to keep me alive for my beautiful girls and my amazing husband. I don't want to die."
Originally published as Horror reason behind mum's headaches