Human Interest

Before he was even born, Brandon Godfrey saved his mother’s life

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Lucy Godfrey says her son, Brandon, saved her life… before he was even born. She had an unknown brain tumor that was discovered just in time because she was pregnant.

Shortly after Lucy became pregnant, she began having strange symptoms, which she mistakenly chalked up to her pregnancy, telling the UK’s Mirror, “I started having blank moments where I’d be talking away, driving, doing day to day things, when all of a sudden I’d stop and freeze.” She says her boyfriend (now husband), Dean, “would even tickle my feet, which I hate, to get a reaction or clap his hands in front of my face, but nothing. The episodes lasted about 10 seconds and I had 30-40 a day.” Her family physician thought her symptoms were caused by a virus.

But things got worse, and one day, she collapsed. Doctors decided to do a scan of Lucy’s brain, but because she was pregnant, they couldn’t do a CT scan, which would have been dangerous for baby Brandon. Instead, they ordered an MRI, which detected her tumor. Lucy says it was unlikely that a CT scan would have revealed it, and therefore, it would not have been discovered as early as it was. “Brandon is my little life saver….“I always tell everyone that my baby saved my life.” A subsequent biopsy revealed a low-grade astrocytoma — a slow-growing tumor doctors believed Lucy may have had even since birth.

Lucy’s first concern was her preborn son. “My first thought was, ‘Will I be able to have my baby?’” she told the Mirror. “I was 14 weeks pregnant and, just a week before, we’d been telling everyone our happy news – now we had to break the news I had a brain tumour.”

Because the tumor was so slow-growing, doctors felt it safe to postpone surgery until after Brandon’s birth, which Lucy recalled, saying, “… [A]s I held my baby in my arms for the first time, I was overwhelmed with love and joy. It felt like I’d always been waiting for that moment.”

When Brandon was four months old, Lucy underwent a seven-hour surgery to remove the tumor, the size of a small orange. According to the Mirror, “Part of it had to be left behind as it was wrapped around a blood vessel.”

For two years, Lucy received good news — all clear — until recently, when doctors told her that the remainder of the astrocytoma had become a grade 4 glioblastoma, “the most common, aggressive brain tumour in adults, with an average prognosis of 12-18 months.

Lucy says that despite this, she’s had two years with her son, and she’s determined to fight and to “make as many happy memories” with her family as possible. Lucy told the Mirror she has “had six weeks of intensive radiotherapy and will be on Temozolomide chemotherapy tablets for life.” Since beginning this treatment, her last three scans, she says, “have been clear and I’m defying the odds. Although the future is uncertain, I do my best to keep positive.”

Little Brandon not only saved his mother’s life two years ago — he’s her reason to keep fighting. She told the Birmingham Mail, “Brandon is my life and my focus. My joy in him – and incredible support from Dean and my mum – keep me going.”

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