Brendan Grimes – Committee member
Sadly on 18th June 2016 I lost my daughter to a brain tumour, aged 35. Emma and her friend Fiona, took themselves off to Australia when they were 18 years old for their GAP year. Fiona made contact with us one day worried about Emma, saying that she had been complaining of headaches for a while and that she was losing lots of weight. We managed to convince Emma to come home and the day we picked her up from the airport we couldn’t believe the difference in our daughter from we last seen her. She was very frail looking and had lost a lot of weight. We took her to the GP who referred her to hospital. We attended the Royal Victoria Hospital to be told by Dr Grey that she had a brain tumour. This was in 2008. She had surgery to remove the tumour and thankfully we were told it was benign.
However within a year to 18 months it had returned but this time it was an aggressive tumour. Emma was under the care of Dr Conkey at this stage and was having treatment for the tumour. Emma was working away at the bacon factory in Cookstown all through this time and would have had her good days and bad days.
But then the tumour came back for a 3 rd time. At this time the tumour was too far into her brain for them to operate and they knew it was a malignant tumour. Dr Conkey told her to go and live her life and enjoy herself. This was around 2012/2013.
One morning I was telling Emma to get up out of her bed before her mother got home from work, we were having a discussion about it and then next thing I turned around and she had collapsed while walking to the bathroom. The tumour had burst in her head. That was the last time Emma spoke to me. For the next week she lay in her bed suffering with the pain and just withering away. She slipped away from us at approx. 1am on 18th June 2016 leaving behind 2 younger sisters and a younger brother.
As a family we joined the Brainwaves charity approximately 6 years ago when Emma was told to enjoy her life. Emma built up a very strong bond with Kate Ferguson at the time. Kate was Emma’s ‘go to’ if she was worried or had questions and she became very close to Kate. The family
benefited immensely from the charity, going on the outings and meeting other families with the same experiences. I decided I would join the committee of the charity to give back to other families was they gave to me. I am actively trying to promote the charity in the Mid Ulster area and get as much sponsorship & funding from local businesses as I can.