A POPULAR young mum with an extremely rare tumour hopes a charity event will help her take an extra-special trip with her husband.
Natalie Sears, of Bridgwater, who has just turned 25, is receiving treatment at St Margaret’s Hospice in Taunton for an aggressive form of angiomyoxma.
Mum Patricia Upton, also of Bridgwater, is now rallying to fundraise the £700 needed to give her daughter and son-in-law Wayne a two-night holiday at Whipsnade Zoo at Dunstable in one of its lodges, through a charity event at Sydenham community centre.
Before Natalie received her diagnosis she had been experiencing symptoms for years, from stomach pain and vomiting to bloating and passing out.
A string of misdiagnoses and “20-odd trips in and out of Musgrove” followed.
Natalie has now had to give up her dental nurse ambitions and relies on a wheelchair.
Patricia, 54, said: “They kept saying it was IBS or wheat intolerance. At the end my mouth went dry, because I knew it wasn’t.
“After investigating more, they said it was her appendix. They took it out and found nothing wrong with it.”
Natalie and Wayne (“the love of her life”) were married three years ago in Greece and 19 months ago Natalie gave birth to son Armani.
Five weeks into her pregnancy Natalie injured her groin while carrying a crate.
When she bled the next day she was rushed into hospital.
“Ever since then she has been in total agony,” said Patricia. “She couldn’t even lift Armani to change him, she was so poorly.
“She kept being told it was down to a groin injury.
“Then they put a band on her stomach but that made it worse.
“We even took her to Weston hospital to see if they thought differently. We were clutching at straws.”
An X-ray on December 3 finally revealed a “big mass” on her pelvis, identifying the angiomyxoma.
Patricia added: “She is currently undergoing a treatment to shrink the tumour before undergoing an operation to remove it.
“They’re giving her morphine for the pain but it’s not touching it.”
With his mum poorly and dad working and studying hard to better his career, baby Armani is being cared for by Patricia, who herself has lupus, arthritis and fibromyalgia, and her husband Paul during the day.
Patricia said: “It’s really, really hard but what can you do? Before all this she was a normal, young, bright girl.
“We just really want to give Natalie and Wayne something to look forward to.”
She added: “Every single person at St Margaret’s is compassionate and kind-hearted, from the cleaners to the doctors.
“It’s the small things, like the fact that when you’re having your dinner or breakfast they put a little posy on the tray.”
The fundraising activity day for Natalie starts at 10am at Sydenham Community Centre on Saturday July 19.
Games, a barbecue, face painting, foot and hand massages and manicures, and an on-site tattooist is planned for the fundraiser.
Any proceeds left beyond the cost of the trip will go to St Margaret’s Hospice.