Doctors told brain tumour patient her unborn baby saved her life

2 min read

Sharna Levett was diagnosed with a brain tumour while heavily pregnant with her first child and doctors told her the baby saved her life. 

Sharna was 34 weeks pregnant when she suffered a 10-minute focal seizure out of the blue and her left arm became heavy and her body began to jolt. She feared she was having a stroke, but was later told the shocking news that she had a brain tumour. 

Sharna said: “I was taken into a room with my midwife and consultant and thought to myself, well this isn’t going to be good news. They told me I had a brain tumour and that the baby saved my life. I think they were referring to the hormones my body was producing as part of the pregnancy, which could have spurred on the growth of the tumour causing the seizure which alerted them to the brain tumour.” 

Five weeks later, at 39 weeks, Sharna gave birth to her son, Ewan, by c-section. Despite medication, her seizures continued which meant during the first months of Ewan’s life, Sharna was unable to hold her son much and had to play with him on the floor. 

When Ewan was six months old, Sharna had an awake craniotomy which saw a 40% removal of the tumour diagnosed as a diffuse astrocytoma. She underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy, which finished in March 2023. 

Following a stable scan in August, a month later, she married her husband Huw with Ethan, now two, proudly part of the ceremony. 

Now, Sharna is taking part in our Skip 10 Minutes a Day in November challenge. She added: “Since my diagnosis I have learnt that just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours since records began in 2002. We have to change this.” 

To support Sharna’s fundraising, please donate via her JustGiving page. 

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