Committee Member – Mo McDevitt
In 1988 I returned from a 3 week research trip in Egypt unable to eat but gaining weight at an alarming speed and suffering headaches and visual problems. I was referred to a Consultant who after 10 months of tests told me I was having early menopause. I disputed this and went back to see the Consultant as I was going blind. I was therefore referred to neurologist Michael Hutchinson at St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin. He informed me I had 2 to 5 weeks to live as the pituitary tumour I had was that large. I was then referred to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin. After a 6 month recovery I returned to college to my job as a tutor/lecturer. However within 12 months I had symptoms again.
I was told I was just being anxious however 3 months later I collapsed and they then did the resection In Beaumont Hospital in March 1992. At this stage I was advised to retire.
In 1996 I had recurring symptoms and was asked to be the second patient ever for new radiotherapy at the Mater hospital, Dublin. I found this to be a horrific experience. I had 26 sessions and was on 12 medications including steroids so was gaining weight rapidly. I continued to have annual MRI scans.
In 2006 my MRI identified a second tumour of 3cms at the spinal region. I returned to Northern Ireland at this stage and after three years of private scans and consultants I was referred to the Royal Victoria Hospital by my GP. I was refused surgery and treatment at this time. In 2009 I travelled to India for work purposes and when I returned in 2010 was again refused treatment as I was too old. I demanded other options and was then referred to Sheffield for Radiotherapeutic surgery which is similar to gamma knife. This was a kind and successful experience.
I currently continue to research and defend patients rights to information and treatments and have written a book which I hope will be published in May 2019.