'Christmas miracle' as mum receives life-saving brain cancer surgery after being given two days to live

A mum who was given the devastating news she had just two days to live has undergone life-saving brain surgery – with her family calling it their “Christmas miracle”.

By Fiona Thompson
Monday, 21st December 2020, 6:57 pm

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Emma Selby, from Peterlee, was admitted to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, last week after doctors found she had a bleed from one of the three brain tumours she is suffering with – a high grade astrocytoma, the most aggressive of the three.

The 38-year-old was told there was nothing that could be done and that she and her family should prepare for the worst.

However, after being transferred to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, the Selby family were given the best Christmas present – one its surgeons was prepared to operate on the astrocytoma and was confident he could remove 90% of it.

Mum Emma Selby is recovering from surgery.

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On Saturday, December 19, Emma underwent a six-hour operation and is now recovering.

Karen Selby, Emma’s sister, who led the campaign, said it had been a “rollercoaster few days” where they faced losing her to now looking ahead to Christmas with her in recovery.

“It really is a Christmas miracle,” she added.

Emma Selby has been supported through her cancer fight by her family and communities of Peterlee and Easington.

“I spoke with Emma when she was in recovery and she was like a different person – I don’t think we can believe it.”

The surgery comes six months after Durham County Council worker Emma, who is mum to 14-year-old Thomas, was told doctors had found a third inoperable brain tumour.

The Selby family and the Peterlee and Easington communities had raised more than £30,000 towards the drug-free therapy, which medically alters the patient’s blood.

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Last week Emma had the first stage of the treatment and will have weekly immune boosting injections, with three rounds needed.

Karen added: “I can put my Christmas lights on now – I had my tree up but it didn’t feel right to put the lights on with everything that was happening to my sister.”

Karen, her parents Victor and Anna and the rest of Emma’s family are continuing to fundraise and want to thank everyone who has supported their efforts so far.

The fundraising page can be found via https://www.gofundme.com/f/tmzd2-saving-emma.

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