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Mum-to-be, 29, told she is dying after devastating brain tumour diagnosis at 20 weeks pregnant

Laura Mahon was diagnosed with a brain tumour at 20 weeks pregnant and has been given two years to live

A young mum-to-be told she is dying after discovering she has an inoperable brain tumour when she was 20 weeks pregnant.

Laura Mahon, 29, was told the news after struggling to walk at the five month mark of pregnancy and was left unable to move her right leg or toes.

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Laura Mahon received the devastating diagnosis at 20 weeks pregnant (Photo: Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)

She received the devastating diagnosis after an MRI scan and at 27 weeks pregnant, her condition began to deteriorate.

Laura, from St Helens, Merseyside, and her partner Danny made the difficult decision to undergo a planned caesarean at 30 weeks and on 30 November last year, she gave birth to her daughter Sienna Grace Laura Mahon, weighing just 3.4lbs.

Tragically, Laura has been given just two years to live but says she is fighting to stay strong for her family.

‘I prepared for the worst’

Laura said she first noticed something was wrong when she woke up and could not move her toes.

Her GP, who thought the problem may have been caused by the baby pressing against a nerve, sent her for an MRI scan on her back. After this came back clear, she was sent for a scan on her brain and was told she had a brain tumour.

Doctor said they wanted to monitor her before deciding what to do due to her pregnancy, but after she became unwell at 27 weeks, the couple decided to have a caesarean birth at 30 weeks.

She explained: “I couldn’t walk properly, I was being sick, and I was so tired.

“After many heart-breaking conversations, Danny and I made the toughest decision of our lives and decided to bring our daughter into the world at 30 weeks.

“At my planned caesarean section, the midwifery team put me under general anaesthetic so that I was totally relaxed.

“They didn’t want to put any pressure on my brain because of the risk of causing further complications.

“I discharged myself from Warrington Hospital, even though I wasn’t really well enough, because I wanted to be with Sienna.”

Laura and her partner Danny decided to undergo a planned caesarean at 30 weeks (Photo: Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)

Sienna was taken to the neonatal ward after the birth where she was placed in an incubator, but in another tragic turn, she developed a collapsed lung and was transferred to Royal Oldham Hospital for specialised care.

A few days later, on 9 December, Laura had another MRI scan which revealed the tumour had nearly doubled in size and because of its location on her motor cortex, it was classed as inoperable as it would be unsafe to remove it.

On 22 December, she received the devastating news that the tumour was stage 4 brain cancer and she had just two years to live.

She said: “Danny and I had prepared ourselves for the worst - we knew deep down what it was going to be but being told at 29 years old that you have inoperable stage 4 brain cancer and that I had just two years to live is something you can never prepare yourself for.

“Hearing that said out loud was a moment we’ll never forget - they were only able to remove around 20% of it.

“I was devastated because I’d got my hopes up. It was yet another setback, bad news on top of bad news.

“It felt so surreal, like I was living two separate lives - things all looked fine, like we were a happy family, then I would remember how poorly I am. But it’s so special having Sienna with us, it’s like what we had originally envisaged.

“Right now, we’re trying to get out and do nice things to make memories together, but I need to take each day as it comes - it’s hard at times and I just break down and cry, but Sienna’s lung has repaired itself and she is completely fine now.”

‘I’m fighting as hard as I can’

After being told the heartbreaking news, Laura decided there were still things she wanted to do, including marrying her partner.

The couple tied the knot on 6 January this year, despite Laura experiencing her first seizure just two days before, and the day after the wedding, they registered Sienna’s birth and had a christening on 8 January at the Warrington Hospital chapel.

Laura and Danny tied the knot on 6 January this year (Photo: SWNS)

The following week Laura started a six-week chemotherapy and radiotherapy course.

Incredibly, at the start of April, an MRI scan showed that the tumour had stabilised and even shrunk, and now Laura and her family are working to make new memories and stay positive.

She said: “It was such a shock. I’m only 29 and didn’t think something like this could happen to me.

“I was so focused on the baby, but I was getting more poorly. I see others with GBMs (glioblastoma) who manage to live longer, so I am clinging to the idea that I might be one of those people.

“I’m fighting as hard as I can and I’m staying strong for my family.”

Matthew Price, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research said: “We’re really grateful to Laura for working with us as it’s only with the support of people like her that we’re able to progress our research into brain tumours and improve the outcome for patients who are forced to fight this awful disease.

“Unlike many other cancers, brain tumours are indiscriminate - they can affect anyone at any time.

“Too little is known about the causes and that is why increased investment in research is vital.”