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I will be back and fighting fit - MP; Brain operation is a success.

Byline: Paul Tully

HEXHAM MP Guy Opperman has promised to be back "fighting fit" at the earliest opportunity following brain surgery. The Conservative politician underwent a successful operation to remove a brain tumour last week and faces a lengthy recovery period in a London hospital.

Messages from well-wishers have poured in to his constituency offices in the North East and London.

Through his personal website blog, Mr Opperman said: "I cannot thank you all enough for your support at this difficult time, and promise to be back fighting fit championing our region as soon as possible."

The Wiltshire-born MP, who will celebrate his 46th birthday a week today, was taken ill at the House of Commons two weeks ago.

A non-malignant meningioma - a tumour of the meninges membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord - was diagnosed.

Leading neurosurgeon Neil Kitchen carried out surgery to remove the tumour on Friday and 48 hours ago the operation was pronounced a success.

Mr Opperman added: "These past few weeks have in many ways brought it home even more how lucky I am to be a member of Parliament representing the Hexham constituency.

"Whatever the future may hold, I will always work hard as a constituency MP, standing up for your interests, taking up your cases, acting on the things that you care about."

Describing it as "an immense privilege and real pleasure" to represent a "wonderful" part of the country, Mr Opperman pledged to carry on tackling issues such as fuel poverty and housing.

And he joked: "Never did I suspect I would be watching the AV referendum results (and the Royal Wedding!) from a hospital bed after being diagnosed with a brain tumour."

Until he recovers fully, Mr Opperman's constituency office staff will conduct business as far as possible.

The MP is in the National Neurological and Neurosurgery Hospital in Queen Square, London, after being transferred from Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust before surgery.

He underwent an initial craniotomy, in which the skull is opened to gain access to the brain, for assessment of the extent of the tumour.

He was then put on steroids to reduce swelling before the delicate operation lasting several hours.

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GRATEFUL Guy Opperman thanked well-wishers for their support
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 11, 2011
Words:374
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