A British mom who suffered a miscarriage two years ago is now praising her newborn son for saving her life after doctors discovered her migraines were due to a brain tumor that was growing fast because of her pregnancy hormones.
Abi Naylor, 28, was rushed to Macclesfield Hospital, Cheshire, in Northwest England, a week after the birth of her son Roman when she started suffering excruciating migraines in October 2022.
After a CT scan, doctors broke the news to Abi and her husband, Ross, 28, that she had a large, approx. 2.7-inch (7-centimeter) brain tumor. She was referred to undergo emergency surgery at a hospital in Greater Manchester.
If it had been left any longer, the tumor would have become inoperable, affecting Abi’s fine motor skills and facial muscles.
“We have no idea how long the tumor was there and growing for,” said Abi, a workplace mentor, from Congleton, Cheshire.
“Doctors think the hormones and stress of labor ended up accelerating the growth of the tumor. If it weren’t for being pregnant, it may have grown for longer and caused more damage.
“My little boy literally saved my life.”
Abi and Ross got married in July 2021 after their original wedding date was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Recalling their first pregnancy that ended up in a miscarriage, the couple said that they learned during the 12-week scan that their unborn baby’s brain had not developed properly. And just two weeks later, Abi delivered their stillborn child.
“We were heartbroken and needed some time to heal before trying again,” she said. “But we tried to enter the new year with a positive mindset.”
Then in February 2022, the couple were overjoyed to discover Abi had become pregnant again. They planned a gender reveal, using blue balloons on the big day to tell loved ones they were expecting a boy.
Ross, a civil servant, said: “It was a very anxious time, but Abi was closely monitored throughout the pregnancy.
“The wedding and gender reveal was perfect—we hoped we’d left the difficult year behind us.”
This time Abi’s pregnancy had been going smoothly until she suddenly collapsed at 37 weeks. She was rushed to the hospital but medics couldn’t find a cause.
“Doctors are very reluctant to scan heavily pregnant women,” she said. “It was left unexplained, but we thought it was just one of those freak things because I felt fine afterwards.”
When Abi was 39 weeks along, she went into labor at Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport, Greater Manchester. The couple welcomed their little boy, Roman, on Oct. 11, 2022, weighing a healthy 7 pounds 10 ounces.
Everything seemed fine until the new mom’s health took a turn a week later while at home.
“I started feeling really dehydrated and was getting painful migraines,” she said. “After a few days, I could barely see or walk so Ross took me into A&E at Macclesfield Hospital.
“At first, doctors thought it was some reaction to the epidural I had during labor, but we pushed for more tests.”
A CT scan found a tumor, and two days later Abi was transferred to Salford Royal Hospital for emergency brain surgery. After a four-hour-long surgery, doctors managed to remove all traces of the mass.
Ross said: “Doctors couldn’t believe she had such an aggressive, fast-growing tumor for her age. They didn’t know if it was cancerous, or what they would find when they operated.
“It was a very scary time, especially just after the arrival of Roman.”
Abi is now recovering from surgery and doesn’t need further treatment. But the mom-of-one does go for regular check-up scans.
“Looking back, I have had headaches on and off over the years but thought nothing of it,” Abi said. “If anything doesn’t feel right, definitely go to a doctor and get it checked out.”
Ross said that Abi is still on the road to recovery, but “she’s doing amazingly well.”
“We pushed for scans so it’s important you don’t get fobbed off,” Ross said. “I dread to think what would have happened if Roman hadn’t come along.
“He’s a little hero.”
Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.
Share your stories with us at email@example.com, and continue to get your daily dose of inspiration by signing up for the Inspired newsletter at: https://www.theepochtimes.com/newsletter