A woman who woke up from brain tumor surgery during the close of June 2020 has revealed that she has lost all memories of the previous seven months, including the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
When Karen Eggleston finally woke up in King’s College Hospital, London, she was shocked to find that she had a completely shaved head and asked why doctors came to her with cotton swabs and masks.
The 50-year-old consultant, originally from Westerham in Kent, had suffered a seizure at home and went into cardiac arrest in June 2020, during which he flatlined for 10 minutes.
After completing brain scans to check the cause of her medical episode, it was discovered she had a brain tumor.
She spent a week in a coma after doctors worked to remove an olfactory groove meningioma — a benign growth in the cranial cavity between the forehead and nose — that required surgery to remove.
But when she finally came to, her last memory was of an argument with her then-partner of 10 years in November 2019 – leaving her mind completely empty of the turmoil of the onset of Covid, lockdowns and the UK winter elections in 2019.
She compared her experience to the start of a “Science Fiction Novel by John Wyndham,” where she felt she was in the midst of a pandemic she “knew nothing about.”
When Karen Eggleston (left) finally woke up in King’s College Hospital, London, she was shocked to discover she had a completely shaved head and asked why doctors came to her with cotton swabs and masks
The 50-year-old consultant, originally from Westerham in Kent, had suffered a seizure at home and went into cardiac arrest in June 2020, during which he flatlined for 10 minutes. She spent a week in a coma after doctors worked to remove a grade 1 olfactory groove meningioma — a benign growth in the cranial cavity between the forehead and nose — that required surgery to remove
When Ms Eggleston woke up a week after a craniotomy, she had no memory of the seven months leading up to her collapse, including the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said: ‘In early November 2019 I remember feeling unwell when I went to bed after an argument with my then partner of 10 years and was awakened by a voice saying ‘Take it easy, you suffered a head trauma’ .
“To my surprise, it was June 10, 2020.
‘I was at Kings College Hospital, London, and really didn’t know what was going on. My eyesight was affected and I struggled to see everything and found it very confusing.
“I had a completely empty memory for the past seven months, no memory at all.
“It was like waking up at the beginning of a John Wyndham novel in the midst of a pandemic I knew nothing about, with everyone approaching me with cotton swabs and masks, and my head completely shaved because I used to be a long time hair.”
The organizational development consultant, from Westerham, Kent, also noted that she was completely blind in her left eye, had impaired vision in her right eye, had confusion and hallucinations and was being restrained for her own safety.
She said, “People refer to life events as feeling like the carpet has been pulled out from under them; Well, I lost the carpet, the floor, and everything else under me.’
In addition to coping with her newfound physical limitations, Karen, a mother-of-one, also had to deal with the consequences of the personality changes she had experienced before the discovery of her tumor, including the breakdown of her relationship.
She said, “My biggest heartbreak was finding out that my fiancé wouldn’t even talk to me.
“It’s a shock because my behavior came out of the blue, but I’ve been through the grief of a breakup and everything else, not knowing what happened.
‘The personality change and how it has affected my life is hard to accept; I can only say that I am sorry for my behavior at the time and explain that it was not me, but my brain tumor.’
She compared her experience to the start of a “Science Fiction Novel by John Wyndham,” where she felt she was in the midst of a pandemic she “knew nothing about.” Pictured: Mrs Eggleston pictured outside the hospital today
Although part of her tumor had to be left in, removing the rest is thought to cut off the blood supply and with the three radiotherapy sessions she had afterward, it appears to have disappeared, with the news that she was “the only one.” -bright’ comes just before Christmas.
Now with annual scans to keep up with her health and back to work full-time, Karen has turned her attention to helping others and is collaborating with Brain Tumor Research to raise awareness of the disease that is affecting her life. shredded.
She said: “I want to do what I can to raise awareness of brain tumors and raise money for research into the disease so that fewer people have to deal with having their lives turned upside down like mine.”
Brain tumors kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet historically only 1% of national cancer research spending has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager for Brain Tumor Research, said: “Karen has been through a terrible ordeal leading up to the discovery of her brain tumor and has had to make many adjustments since then, but continues to show great resilience and determination.
“We welcome her support and look forward to her involvement in future fundraisers as we continue to fund vital brain tumor research.”