Brain tumour widow sponsors research in plea for kinder treatments - The Solihull Observer

Brain tumour widow sponsors research in plea for kinder treatments

Solihull Editorial 20th Oct, 2023   0

A WIDOW who lost her husband to a brain tumour has sponsored a day of research into the disease.

Paul Cook from Castle Bromwich in Solihull was diagnosed with a glioblastoma (GBM) in March 2015.

Despite surgery followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy, Paul died just seven months later after developing complications which arose from chemotherapy treatment. He was 48.

His widow, Joanna Cook, a former lawyer and now dog food company owner, said: “Paul seemed to tolerate the operation and radiotherapy better than we expected, considering the warnings that come with such treatment.

“In October, Paul started to complain of a pain in his stomach. Doctors changed the dose of his medication, however, eventually his bowel burst.

“He was rushed to Heartlands Hospital where he had emergency surgery which was touch and go if he’d survive.

“My understanding is that for this to happen is extremely rare and brutal. Paul’s healthcare team were all shocked. During recovery, Paul got an infection and he died later that day.

“It isn’t right that someone so kind and loving as Paul died in such horrific circumstances. Treatment for his brain tumour weakened his immune system so when he contracted an infection after surgery on his bowel, the odds of him making a full recovery were already against him.”

Since Paul’s death, Joanna has fundraised for Brain Tumour Research through her own challenges and recently took part in Walk of Hope, raising almost £3,000.

Joanna was among a select group of supporters given the opportunity to tour Brain Tumour Research’s Centre of Excellence at Imperial College, London.

Afterwards Joanna placed a tile, representative of the £2,740 it costs to fund each day of research, on the centre’s Wall of Hope.

She said: “I was overcome with emotion as I placed the tile on the Wall of Hope.

“It was an incredibly important day to understand just how complex this disease is and I feel empowered to continue to raise awareness to help fund the fight against brain tumours.

“Had the complications which arose from chemotherapy treatment not killed him, I know the brain tumour would have. We need kinder treatments for brain tumour patients.

“To do this, we need the funding to research better treatment options so no other person and their family has to experience the gruelling side effects and devastation that living with a brain tumour can cause.”

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