“I’ve Learned Not to Worry About Things Outside of My Control” Says a Teen Diagnosed with Spinal Tumor

 “I’ve Learned Not to Worry About Things Outside of My Control” Says a Teen Diagnosed with Spinal Tumor

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A brave young woman from Grimsby has shared valuable life lessons she’s learned after being diagnosed with a spinal tumor at just 17 years old. Darcie Bunyan, now 18, discovered the importance of not stressing over things outside of her control and cherishing life’s moments after her harrowing experience.

Darcie initially visited her GP due to pains in her legs and back and underwent physiotherapy, but her symptoms worsened to the point where she struggled to walk. In September last year, the pain became so severe that she went to A&E at Grimsby Hospital, where doctors discovered a mass on her spine. She was then taken to Hull Hospital via ambulance.

The following day, an MRI scan revealed a tumor on Darcie’s spine, just millimeters away from her spinal cord. This led to a significant and daunting decision she had to make. Speaking to Grimsby Live, she said, “We were just in shock, it was just horrible and we all cried. I’m so active too, I do horse riding and go running, and I was in the middle of doing my A-Levels. I had to stop it all pretty much overnight.”

Darcie faced three options: leaving the tumor to worsen, removing it with potentially irreversible damage, or removing it and recovering fully. Due to her age, a multi-disciplinary team of neurosurgeons in Leeds had to discuss her case. After two days in the hospital for scans and consultations, Darcie went home for a week while the surgery was planned, as per reports Yahoo News UK.

The operation was expected to take four to five hours, but doctors found that the tumor was encased in and running through nerves controlling the bladder, bowels, and legs. The surgery ended up taking eight hours. “When I woke up, I didn’t even know if I’d be able to walk again,” Darcie said. “But the first thing I did was wiggle my toes and I was able to, so I was relieved.”

Her recovery was challenging, involving a week in the hospital and extensive care from her mother. In January, Darcie returned to college part-time. A recent follow-up scan showed that surgeons successfully removed the entire tumor. Doctors encouraged Darcie to “go and live her life.”

Reflecting on her experience, Darcie said, “It’s brought us closer together as a family. I’ve learned not to worry about things outside of my control, and that life is short and you shouldn’t stress about little things. I never thought it would happen to me; you see it on TV, but I never thought it would happen to me. So I would advise not to put off going to the doctors – I put it off for ages, and the doctors are lucky to have caught it when they did.”

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