The family of a man who died of a brain tumour have revealed it was diagnosed after he watched Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E.
Glenn Farley began to experience drop foot - a condition which affects foot and toe mobility causing him to drag his leg as he walked.
Glenn and his wife, Thomasina, 54, were concerned he may have suffered a stroke.
What symptoms did Glenn have?
They phoned the doctors’ out of hours helpline who told him to go to A&E.
A scan of Glenn’s body from the neck down found nothing unusual and he was kept in overnight for monitoring.
But when he returned home the next day, Glenn suffered multiple seizures.
After watching Channel 4’s ‘24 Hours in A&E’, Glenn mentioned to his wife about a brain tumour patient on the show.
They had the same symptoms that he was experiencing, prompting the couple to go to hospital again.
A scan of Glenn’s head revealed the devastating news that he had a fast-growing tumour on his brain.
Mr Farley, from Newport in South Wales, was only 51 when he passed away in November 2019.
It was just 19 months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour that turned out to be an aggressive glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
What have Glenn’s family said?
Glenn, a steelworker, was known as ‘Granchie Glenn’ by his grandchildren - one of who he never got to meet.
He is now the inspiration behind his family’s 10,000 Steps a Day in February Challenge.
Thomasina said: “I’m not very good at watching anything medical on TV as it makes me squeamish.
“After Glenn mentioned about the patient on 24 Hours in A&E, we went straight to the hospital, instead of phoning the doctor.
“It was incredibly shocking to hear the diagnosis and we were told that the average survival rate for someone with a GBM is just 12-18 months.
“We were heartbroken.”
In March 2018, surgeons at Heath Hospital in Cardiff removed most of the tumour, during which time a further two tumours were discovered and would be monitored for any changes.
What treatment did he have?
Over the next nine months, Glenn underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment which successfully shrunk what was left of the GBM.
However, the operation left Glenn in a wheelchair, and doctors thought he may never walk again.
After months of physiotherapy, the determined father-of-two walked unaided for the first time on the final day of his chemotherapy treatment and in July 2019, Glenn lived out his wish as he walked daughter Katie, 31, down the aisle.
A month later, whilst awaiting a knee operation, Glenn experienced a pain in his chest and when he woke up the next morning, he fell to the ground having lost the use of both of his legs.
He was taken to Royal Gwent Hospital, where doctors were unable to determine the cause of why his legs stopped working.
At the time he was waiting for his latest scan results and after a phone call to the Velindre Cancer Centre, Glenn was told the cancer had spread to his spinal cord.
After two weeks of radiotherapy on his spine, he was referred back to Gwent Hospital where he caught sepsis three times and was eventually discharged to receive palliative care at home.
What is the 10,000 Steps a Day challenge?
Mr Farley died surrounded by his family on 16 November, the same day as his son, Luke’s 33rd birthday.
Thomasina said: “Whilst Glenn was at home he had lots of visitors from work, plus friends and family who brought with them such positivity.
“We had a flag made with his picture on and his friends, Gary and Darren still take it to every Newport County home game to remember him, that shows you how loved he was.”
Four years after he was first diagnosed with the disease, Thomasina and their eldest granddaughter, Maisie, will be walking 10,000 steps every day in February in memory of their beloved ‘Granchie Glenn’ to raise money for Brain Tumour Research.
Thomasina took part in the event for the first time last year and raised more than £1,000 for the charity. This year she is hoping to raise even more.
Thomasina said: “Maisie and I have been loving the challenge so far, with all of our family cheering us on.
“Glenn would have loved it and I know he’d be very proud of what we were doing to help other families going through something similar.”
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