Family of courageous Sunderland mum battling eight tumours behind her eyes hoping 2020 will be year she returns to health

A young mum battling a rare health condition that has seen her undergo life-saving surgery for multiple tumours in her body is hoping 2020 will be the year she turns a corner.

Monday, 6th January 2020, 10:12 am
Updated Monday, 6th January 2020, 5:22 pm

Courtney McGarrity, 22, from Hylton Castle, Sunderland, was diagnosed with Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome (VHL) in March 2019 after becoming ill with severe headaches and suffering fainting bouts.

The inherited disorder affects one in 30,000 people and involves the growth of tumours and cysts in different parts of the body.

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Courtney McGarrity with partner Lloyd Potts and son's Isaac McGarrity, three and Lloyd junior Potts, one.
Courtney McGarrity with partner Lloyd Potts and son's Isaac McGarrity, three and Lloyd junior Potts, one.

Further tests on her eyes also revealed that she had multiple tumours behind her left eye, which have sadly caused Courtney to lose the sight in her left eye.

And now the courageous mum is undergoing laser treatment to remove the seven of the smaller tumours behind her left eye and is awaiting a surgery date to remove the eighth eye tumour.

Mum Tracy McGarrity, 51, said: “She is doing OK, but is still getting the headaches.

“She is also still struggling to do day-to-day actions and is on medication for pain relief.

Courtney McGarrity in hospital after surgery with partner Lloyd Potts and the scar after her brain surgery.

“Sometimes she can’t get out of bed, but generally she is a lot better.

“She is still seeing two different consultants regularly and they keep checking on her spine and head.

“But we are still waiting on an operation date for one of the tumours in her eye.”

The condition runs in Courtney’s family and her Grandmother, Ann McGarrity, died as a result of the condition in 1989 when she was just 45-years-old.

Mum Tracy carried the gene for the condition but has not been affected.

Now Courtney, who is mum to Isaac McGarrity, three, and Lloyd Potts, one, and her partner Lloyd Potts, are looking forward to a holiday of a lifetime to Disneyland Paris.

It comes after Hartlepool charity Miles For Men rallied round the family after hearing of Courtney’s brave fight with the illness.

She was told of the incredible gift on Facebook Live as she watched in surprise from her hospital bed in August 2019.

The family now hope to be able to go in May this year to celebrate the children's birthdays.

Courtney’s mum Tracy, continued: “It’s lovely what people have done for her.

“If Courtney is feeling OK she is hoping to got to Disney in May for the boy’s birthdays.

“But she is still waiting on the operation date for the tumour on her eye.

“We are hoping this is the year that she turns a corner.”