Working full-time as an NHS nurse and being a parent to two young boys meant that Liz Wilson often felt tired or drained at the end of the day.
But things changed when, along with this tiredness, she started to suffer severe migraines and headaches, and not one’s just brought on by the stresses and strains of her daily life.
“I had suffered migraines for years, but this was different,” recalls Liz.
“I was having more frequent headaches, virtually every day. They affected my vision. I felt sick, I would stumble, and I felt strangely vacant.”
Liz tried to carry on but after she felt unwell at work, she knew she needed to be checked over.
She said: “I asked a colleague to take my blood pressure and it turned out to be sky high. The same day I managed to get GP appointment, and luckily they listened to my worries and sent me for CT scan.”
After short delay, Liz went for the scan and received a phone call the same day asking her to attend another appointment.
She said: “I asked if anything was wrong but I knew deep down there was. Obviously, she couldn't tell me over the phone. I asked my mum to come with me to the appointment and prepared myself for bad news. The GP confirmed my darkest fear. He sat me down and told me I had a large brain tumour and needed urgent surgery.
“That moment changed my life. I must have been in shock as I couldn't cry at all. I felt like I was in a room with someone else being told the bad news.
"It felt so strange to me as normally I was the one supporting patients in situations like this.
“When I got home, I had to break the news to my husband while my mum got my little boys from school. My husband was devastated and didn't know what to say or what to do.”
Days later Liz underwent a 12-hour operation to remove the tumour, and after some intensive hospital treatment, including rehabilitation and a further operation to tackle an infection, she is now slowly rebuilding her life and adjusting to the effects of her brain injury.
She said: “Trying to recover is very hard going. My life has been affected in so many ways. I have lost my sense of taste and smell, suffer from chronic fatigue and can no longer do things such as drive."
Liz said the emotional impact has also been very hard to come to terms with.
I feel a shadow of myself. I have lost my confidence and in a strange way I feel I've lost ‘me'.