Chelsea, 23, began experiencing extreme headaches during year 10 and put them down to stress over her GCSEs, doctors diagnosed her with anaemia and said it would go away in time and with the right diet.
“It just got worse as I went through college and I didn't tell anyone about it as I felt like I was just not being taken seriously because of my age.
“As time went on I got older, got a job, I would still go to work even though I was in severe pain". – Chelsea.
Finally, there came a point in September 2014 when she couldn't even lift her head from her pillow and was in so much pain she would be sick. Hearing her daughter's screams her mum was on the phone to the GP surgery, insisting Chelsea received an appointment. Their GP knew instantly something was wrong and sent them straight to their local hospital. It took the family seeing five doctors before Chelsea was referred for a CT scan. The family were given the devastating news - Chelsea had a giant “mass" at the back of her head. She was 19 years old at the time.
I had never felt so scared in my life, everyone around me came to support me, I couldn't help but think that I was never going to meet anyone in my life or experience getting married or have a child of my own.- Chelsea
Chelsea was immediately referred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where she underwent surgery two days later.
Chelsea said: “Getting over the operation was the hardest thing I have ever had to do! I had to learn to spell again, learn how to walk again and if it wasn't for my parents constantly being by my side I would never have accomplished all of that".
After she recovered, Chelsea continued her training as a hairdresser, is now back working and has also met the love of her life, who she's now engaged to and who supports her every step of the way. She's gone from having her check-up scans every six months to every two years. Her next challenge is to start learning to drive and to start planning their wedding.
Good luck and congratulations Chelsea and thank you for sharing your story!