Man, 20, diagnosed with terminal brain tumour after ‘worst headaches on the planet’

A young man who dismissed pain in his head as just painful migraines was actually diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour.

James King, 20, from Worksop, Nottingham, was given the devastating news after suffering bad headaches and feeling sick.

He had initially gone to the doctors complaining of a headache and was prescribed migraine tablets but they didn’t work.

James told Nottingham Post : “They have said that the tumour normally occurs in older people and they normally give a 12 to 18-month prognosis. So it’s not very long really.

“About a month before I was having the worst headaches on the planet, I was being sick like out of nowhere.

“I went to the doctor’s, he prescribed me with migraine tablets and then the migraine tablets did not work.

“My girlfriend said to go and get an eye test and then, from Specsavers, I got referred to Doncaster Royal Infirmary, they did more tests there and then they saw I had a brain tumour. I got blue lighted to Royal Hallamshire Hospital.”

James, an electrical maintenance engineer, was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and underwent surgery to debulk the tumour on August 27.

The operation went well but he said he later suffered a bleed on the brain, which left him paralysed down the right side of his body.

He had to have a second emergency operation to fix the bleed and he has since regained sensation and movement on his right side.

He was told his treatment would involve a cycle of chemotherapy and radiotherapy before another cycle of chemotherapy.

He said the situation “did not phase me that much” but that he was left disappointed when he was told he was unable to drive.

“That is the thing I love, driving,” he said.

“At the minute I am not working, I am off sick. But I have to rely on other people to get to places and I hate it.

“I have never been a person to rely on other people, I am very independent.”

James, who is currently living with his girlfriend Millie Colbear, in Bawtry, added: “I am going to get on with my life like I normally would, just keep going and forget it ever happened, get on with my chemotherapy and go to work as normal.”

Millie, an 18-year-old swimming instructor, said: “When I found out about the tumour obviously I was absolutely gutted and I didn’t really know what to do with myself.

“I tried to keep going and, in the end, after a few weeks I’ve tried to be a lot more positive and trying to do as much as we can really.

“We got together in January, we missed last Christmas together, I’ve been thinking we need to celebrate this Christmas – we might not have another one together.”

Friends of James decided to take part in a recent charity head shave that took place on Saturday, December 12, at Govand Barber’s in Worksop.

It was made Covid-secure and all involved wore masks while the capacity in the barber shop was limited.

James, who lost some of his own hair through his cancer treatment, did the cutting.

Kieren Marriott, 20, and Dalton Tomlinson, 21, from Worksop, came up with the idea and Millie’s brother Sam, 27, took part as did Matt Robinson, 24, from Doncaster. Matt is the boyfriend of Sam and Millie’s sister, Olivia, 24.

They have raised thousands for Brain Tumour Research.

Matthew Price, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We were so sorry to learn about James’ diagnosis and wish him all the very best for the next stage of his treatment.

“Approximately 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with a brain tumour and, unlike most other cancers, incidences of and deaths from brain tumours are rising.

“We thank James’ friends sincerely for their amazing fundraising, which will help us continue our vital work to find a cure for this devastating disease.”