I had no idea 2 tumours were growing in my brain for five years – all I had was a headache

A MAN spent five years with two tumours growing in his brain – and he had no idea.

Tim Cooper, now 57, only had one mild symptom which was a headache.

It wasn't until he collapsed in the street after a day with his friends his astonishing diagnosis was made.

He fell and hit his face on the pavement in October 2018, while on his way home to Sutton.

A stranger who lived nearby came to his aid and called an ambulance.

When Tim got to hospital he vomited "dark matter", and doctors realised he had suffered a seizure.

CT scans and an X-rays revealed he had two tumours in his frontal lobes.

Both tumours had fused together, leaving him at serious risk of a fatal cardiac arrest.

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Although Tim had a few symptoms before he collapsed, he never expected them to be due to a brain tumour.

He said: “I was comfortable with my health before I knew about the brain tumour, overweight but generally happy.

“I was experiencing severe headaches, but they would clear after a sleep so, I didn’t approach my doctor about it.

“I had lost my drive and motivation, but this was only explained to be related to the tumour once I was diagnosed.”

While his experiences over the past few months suddenly made sense, Tim wasn't able to take it all in due to being heavily sedated.

What are the symptoms of a brain tumour?

According to the NHS, the symptoms of a brain tumour depend on its severity and which part of the brain is affected.

However, there are common signs that people can look out for if they are worried.

These include severe, non-stop headaches, seizures as well as nausea, vomiting and drowsiness.

Other signs can include vision or speech problems, paralysis and even changes to a person's behaviour such as having difficulty remembering things.

These symptoms can appear suddenly or develop slowly over time.

He said: “My wife completely realised the full magnitude of the diagnosis and had to face this all on her own.

“It was an incredibly difficult time for both of us and what our future might hold.”

Three weeks after the initial trip to hospital he had a successful surgery, where doctors removed all of the tumours.

He said: “The team felt comfortable that all of the tumours had been removed and the biopsy confirmed that the tumours were not cancerous.

“As a result of how much my brain was cut into for the surgery, I suffered from organic psychosis which was compounded by a bad reaction to my anti-epileptic medication which caused some serious side effects.”

Tim’s behaviour became increasingly erratic as a result.

He said: “My psychosis was really taking hold of me and putting extreme pressure on my marriage, I had become aggressive, acting strangely and making irrational decisions.”

He was admitted to St George’s again and spent seven days in hospital with the neuropsychiatric team, who prescribed an antipsychotic medication.


In February 2021, he was discharged by his neuropsychiatrist and decided to write a book about his experiences.

He called the book The Stone in my Head after the nickname he gave the tumour when explaining his condition to his niece.

Tim said: “I felt I had to write it to give hope to others. I am one of the lucky ones.

“I had received such support from St Georges and the NHS that I felt I had to write a book about my experiences overcoming a very nearly fatal moment in my life.

“I have a story that I hope provides hope to others and that there is a chance to come through to the other side.

"My motto throughout was onwards and upwards and that remains the same today.”

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