A bride-to-be was forced to cancel her wedding just days before she was due to marry – after being told her HONEYMOON could paralyse her.
Sarah Kelly, 34, had a tumour the size of an egg pushing on her spine and was told the cabin pressure on her planned flight to Mexico would leave her wheelchair-bound for life.
After undergoing a risky operation to remove the mass, she now has to learn to walk again – and hopes to be back on her feet by February, when she and husband Lee finally plan to marry.
Speaking from her hospital bed at the Royal Preston Hospital, Sarah said: “If our wedding had gone ahead and I’d got on that plane to Mexico, I would have ended up paralysed.
“I would have ended up in a Mexican hospital racking up thousands of pounds in medical bills.”
“I am determined I will walk again and I want to walk down the aisle with Lee at our wedding, even if it’s with crutches or a frame.
“But even if I end up being in a wheelchair, I won’t postpone the wedding again because I can’t wait any longer to marry Lee.”
Sarah was just days away from marrying soulmate Lee Killon when doctors called her into hospital after receiving test results.
She’d been suffering from pains in her legs and after researching her symptoms, convinced herself she had Multiple Sclerosis.
“It felt like someone was stabbing me in the leg with a hot poker and keeping me awake at night,” she said.
“Some days it was so bad, I couldn’t walk. I tried paracetamol, ibuprofen, cocodamol, Deep Heat, and even bought a Tens machine online but nothing worked.
“A couple of times I fell over after my right leg just went from under me. I also realised when I closed my eyes while standing up, I’d lose my balance.
“I then started having bladder issues. When I thought I needed the loo, I’d go and realised I’d already leaked a bit.”
Sarah had an MRI scan at Royal Preston Hospital on May 29, and was told the results wouldn’t be back until after her wedding and honeymoon.
She said: “It did cast a shadow over our wedding and I cancelled my hen do as my heart wasn’t in celebrating with this hanging over us.
“But I tried to put my worries aside and at the beginning of June, I started to get excited about the wedding.”
However on June 3 – 10 days before her wedding – medics told Sarah she needed to come into hospital and would need to stay for five to seven days.
They showed her scans showing a large tumour compressing on her spinal cord.
“The tumour looked like the size of an egg and the doctor said he was amazed I could actually walk with the way it was compressing on my spinal cord.”
“He said: ‘I don’t think you’ll be getting married next week’ and I just burst into tears.”
Sarah, who works in sales support, was placed on steroids to relieve the pressure on her spine and given some time to postpone her wedding – which the couple managed to put on hold until February.
They feared they would lose out on their £3,000 honeymoon to Mexico but their travel agent helped them to rearrange the holiday for just £230 – getting her an invite to the nuptials.
Finally Sarah was admitted to Royal Preston Hospital for surgery on June 10.
Reiki practitioner Lee, 34, said: “Waiting for Sarah to come out of surgery was horrible. It was the longest day of my life.
“They told us if the operation was successful, it would take one to three hours. But if it was more complicated it would take longer.
“As each hour went by, myself and Sarah’s parents were getting more panicky.
“Then on the sixth hour we got a call to say Sarah was in recovery and doing well.
“I saw the surgeon and he said they’d managed to get the whole tumour out, but Sarah was currently paralysed on her right side.
“Even though it was a shock, I was glad Sarah was recovering and OK.”
Sarah’s right leg is currently paralysed and she has limited mobility in her left leg.
Further scans post-surgery have shown damage to the spinal tumour, but it is unknown what the long-term effects of this will be.
The tumour was found to be a meningnioma – 85 per cent of which usually occur in the brain.
Sarah now faces six months in rehabilitation, learning to walk again.
“Despite the uncertainty for the future, the over-riding feeling I’ve had throughout this experience is how lucky I am that the tumour was found in time.”
“The next six months will be difficult being apart from Lee while I rehabilitate. But what’s six months when we will hopefully have the next 50 years together.”
Lee added: “Everyone says what an inspiration Sarah is. She is so positive and upbeat.”
David Shakespeare, consultant at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are glad to hear Sarah is doing well and it’s great to hear she’s happy with her treatment.
“I want to wish her well for her recovery for the future.”