Mum of 3 had a brain tumour for 37 years without knowing; Lorna's fears ahead of second big op.
Byline: MATTHEW YOUNG
A WOMAN lived for 37 years unaware she had been born with a tumour that was slowly spreading over her brain "like an octopus".
The first Lorna Pritchard knew of her illness was when she collapsed in 2011 and could not walk for 24 hours.
She had to learn how to walk, eat and talk again after complications from an op to try to reduce the growth's size.
And she fears she will have to re-learn it all again after she has another craniotomy tomorrow - or even die.
Lorna, 45, said: "I'm terrified because they can't tell me how I will be. I may have to learn to walk and feed myself all over again. There were complications the first time and I almost died. Since 2011, it's been never-ending."
Medics told Lorna, a former cleaner and delivery driver, the tumour started to develop on the lining of her brain stem while she was in the womb.
The mother of three has constant pain in her body and head and can stand for no longer than 10 minutes. She has had a scan every year to keep tabs on the size of the tumour.
Her first craniotomy in 2012 left a crater shape in her head.
Lorna said the tumour ended up crushing her facial nerve and she woke unable to walk or feed herself, and struggling to speak.
She said: "The pain in my head was indescribable. Because of complications, I almost died three times."
Lorna, from Weymouth in Dorset, was told last year she needed two more ops and surgeons went up through her nose to "de-bulk" the growth.
But even if she makes a full recovery after tomorrow's op, she will need major surgery every five to seven years.
Lorna, who has daughters Chantal, 28, and Nicole, 26, and son Chesney, 24, said: "I used to be very active. I loved going out with my kids. Now my eldest is my carer.
"I hope I can make it through my next surgery so I can see my kids grow old."
I just hope I make it through my op so I can see my kids grow old LORNA PRITCHARD on fears over craniotomy
carer Chantal with her mother
SHOCK GROWTH Lorna had no warnings until 2011 Pictures: ROWAN GRIFFITHS