Tom Mayor, who is now our Customer Experience Lead, tells us how Nuffield Health has supported his employment with his health conditions – and how one unintended Health MOT saved his life.
In 2014 I developed a headache whilst living in America. This headache grew and grew and never went away. After a while I went to a walk in clinic and was put through a series of tests, medicines and more tests. Nothing helped so it got to the point that I needed an MRI scan to see what was going on in there. The scan revealed a tumour that doubled the size of my pituitary gland.
I came back to the UK and went through an operation in November 2014 which found the tumour to be cancerous. By the time of my operation I had also been diagnosed with a rare growth hormone disorder called Acromegaly and the thinking at the time was that the removal of this tumour would decrease the Acromegaly and get rid of the cancer.
Complications after the operations led to me developing diabetes insidious – a rare form of diabetes caused by a deficiency of the hormone vasopressin, which regulate kidney function. It means I drink more water than most, I’m currently drinking around 10-12 litres a day and my body uses less than 3 of those litres if I wasn’t on the medication. I got out of hospital on Christmas Eve 2014, cancer free and on enough medications to control hormones, water retention and pain killers for the headaches. I was going back for tests every month.
I started with Nuffield Health in April 2015 and although still massively struggling at times I managed to get past the fatigue, constant headaches and weekly migraines to a point where I was making progress at work and with my health. Nuffield Health and my team cared about me and my health in more ways than anyone, including any of my NHS doctors. If nothing else, Mark Wilson and Ian Forster need a shout out as they were simply phenomenal with me and continue to be to this day!
I was turning a corner with my health, headaches were still there but I had got used to the constant 24/7 one and just dealt with the migraines when they came along, luckily only getting 1 more cluster headache outside of being in hospital. I met Chris Blackwell – Frost (Chief Customer Officer) at the Manchester conference and we somehow got chatting about my medical stuff. We exchanged emails and to this day he still checks in on me and how I’m doing on a very regular basis. He has helped with advice for me, put me in touch with Davina (Medical Executive Director) who has helped me with hours of her time. Both again, massive shout out! I couldn’t thank them enough!
In January 2016 I was helping a PT out with his Health MOT training tests before the exam and when doing one of the tests on me the results came back out of the normal range. We tested again just in case it was him doing something wrong and it came back out of the range again, he advised that I go talk to one of the Nuffield Health doctors onsite when I can just to make sure it was ok. So I did. I took that test to the doctor who sent me straight to my endocrine NHS doctor. The following week I was diagnosed with liver cancer. Early stages but it had come back and had spread. I began a course of ethanol injections that were directly into the liver and dehydrated the affected cells which killed them so my body could flush them away. In total I had 6 injections and much more bloods, scans and check ups and by February I was given the all clear once more.
Once that was signed and cleared off I was being treated for my headaches. I had a scan in March, and another in July. I was called back later that month and told I have another tumour that they need to remove. This time, in my cheek cavity. They didn’t know what it was or if it’s dangerous but it needs to go. I had that removed at the end of August 2016 and was in until mid-September with the complications that came after the operation. As always I take each day as it comes but I am eternally grateful for the help and support of Nuffield Health and my team. If I can give just one thing back, it would be to highlight to absolutely everyone just how valuable Health MOTs are for members as well as staff. Yes they do help you stay on track but they just might also pick something up. Nuffield Health and the MOT saved my life. No question!