A St Andrews University student has told how he was diagnosed with a brain tumour after spending nine months visiting the doctor with headaches.
Rhudi Baume-Kennedy began suffering severe headaches when he was 12.
During multiple visits to the doctor over the course of nine months, he says he was constantly told he was suffering from migraines.
But with his headaches getting worse, he was eventually given a CT scan – and a tennis ball-sized tumour was found.
Rhudi, who was 13 at the time of his diagnosis, is now raising awareness of brain tumours.
‘The headaches kept waking me up’
The 21-year-old told The Courier: “My headaches had been getting progressively worse.
“The pain was all over my head. It got to the point I’d have them several times a day.
“I was on a family holiday in London and the pain got to the point I couldn’t sleep at all because the headaches kept waking me up.
“I was being sick in the morning, having nose bleeds all the time and falling over a couple of times.”
Following the holiday, and another sleepless night, Rhudi’s parents took him to A&E in Glasgow, where he is originally from.
He said: “I didn’t think it was anything serious because the pain would come and go.
“Again, I was told it was normal, but me and my dad begged for a CT scan.
Tennis ball-sized tumour
“They eventually gave in and about 20 minutes after the scan the doctors came back and said they had found a tennis ball-sized tumour.
“When I was told I felt relieved to know what was causing it but I also felt fear because of the uncertainty and the danger of it.
“The fear mostly came from how it impacted my dad. It was like the bottom of his world had fallen out.”
Following the diagnosis of a ganglioglioma tumour, commonly found in children and young adults, Rhudi was taken to the Southern General Hospital.
The next day he had his first of two surgeries – one to remove fluid that was causing pressure in his head, due to the tumour blocking his spinal fluid pathway, and the other a 14-hour procedure to remove the tumour.
He says had medics not acted sooner, the pressure caused by the fluid build-up could have resulted in a seizure.
He said: “The whole thing was overwhelming – I’d never really been in hospital.
“There were times I didn’t think I was going to make it out properly or alive.”
But he says it was “one of the best days of my life” when he found out the tumour was not cancerous.
Rhudi, a fourth-year philosophy and economics student, still suffers occasional blurred vision, hearing issues and balance problems – but now helps raise awareness as an ambassador for The Brain Tumour Charity.
He has arranged a football tournament at St Andrews University’s sports centre to raise money for the organisation.
A fundraising page has been set up for donations ahead of the tournament on March 25, where he hopes to raise at least £1,000.
The Liverpool fan said: “Brain tumours don’t discriminate and that’s why I wanted to give something back.
“We have teams from across Scotland taking part, mostly set up by my friends who want to help.
“I’ll have QR codes set up at the event so people can donate when they’re there – the more people that watch, the better.
“From a personal level it’s really nice seeing so many of my friends come together, and do something they know will mean a lot to me.”
The tournament will start at 12.30pm.