A Doncaster woman who had been living with a two kilogram tumour on the side of her neck for over 20 years has made a remarkable recovery following surgery to remove the massive lump.
Joyce Haigh, 79, from Thorne, amazed doctors when she went to Doncaster Royal Infirmary’s Emergency Department in October 2013 with the football sized tumour.
Joyce had been brought to hospital by husband, George after the lump had started to bleed relentlessly.
After initial treatment, medics referred Joyce to the hospital’s Ear, Nose and Throat specialist Mr Muhamad Quraishi who surgically removed the tumour during a five hour operation.
Mr Quraishi, Consultant ENT Surgeon, said: “In the whole of my 20-year medical career I can honestly say that I have never seen or treated such a massive tumour.
“The operation itself was quite challenging and I am happy with the outcome and that the operation was a complete success.
“The greatest challenge was to prevent the side of Joyce’s face from becoming permanently paralysed which we successfully prevented.
“I have since found out that Joyce’s lump is the largest to have been removed from somebody’s head or neck at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals and the largest ever reported in UK.
“That we were able to carry out this operation in Doncaster, and not have to transfer Joyce to another hospital, is a great testament to the skill of the people who worked with Joyce.
“It now means that we will be able to carry out similar surgery in the future, should the need arise.”
Since her operation Joyce has been enjoying her new found freedom.
“It has made a great difference to me and my family,” she said. “It’s given me a new lease of life as I can go out now without worrying about people staring at me.
“I know I should have done something sooner about the tumour but I wasn’t in any pain and, I am ashamed to say, I was afraid to go to the doctors about it.
“Now though, I wouldn’t hesitate to see a doctor about anything, and would encourage people who may be experiencing health problems of any kind to get help right away, because the people at the hospital are fantastic.
“My husband George, our nephews and nieces were all worried when the lump started getting bigger. I could cope with it when it was small but over the years it just grew and I suppose in the end I feared the worst. But it wasn’t until 13 October when it started to bleed that George insisted that I go and see a doctor.
“I saw Mr Quraishi before Christmas, and he was wonderful. He showed me the photos of the side view of the lump which I had not seen before and it was at that point that I realised just how bad it was.
“I was frightened of having the operation but actually everything was fine. They took two biopsies and although I do need further treatment, I’m just so glad the lump has gone.
“I plan to get back to being normal again, buy some new clothes and enjoy life. Everyone from Thorne Surgery to the staff at Doncaster Royal Infirmary were marvellous and I can’t thank them enough.”