Women’s World Crumbled When ‘Incredible Husband’ Died From Brain Tumor

A woman who moved to Lancashire after her husband’s death has told how her ‘whole world fell apart’ when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Karen James, 40, met her husband Paul in student residences at Aberystwyth University, where she studied biology and he was training as an accountant. The couple wanted to have children, but since that was not possible, they decided to go on a trip.

In 2018, just before a holiday in Venice – where they nearly crashed a gondola into the canal – Paul started suffering from headaches like a “sinus infection”. The headaches continued, but Paul, who had “a very strong pain threshold”, dismissed the pain and continued “to go about his daily life as usual”, ECHO reports.

READ MORE:New owners of legendary Preston Chippy defend price hikes causing outrage – and vow to keep Umberto’s name great

Karen said: “He was strong, he wasn’t overweight, so we didn’t think it was more serious. We just did the usual thing. When it wasn’t right, I started thinking, ‘What’s causing these headaches?’, but personally, I didn’t think of a brain tumour.”

After Paul collapsed at home one morning, he was rushed to A&E and in April 2018 was diagnosed with butterfly glioblastoma, a rare brain tumor. Few people survive it for more than two years, even with treatment. Paul’s tumor measured 6 cm and end-of-life care was the only option. Karen’s “world came crashing down” when Paul died in November, just a month after turning 37. been through your life.”

Almost immediately after Paul’s death, Karen, now living alone for the first time, had to deal with a mountain of paperwork, such as registering Paul’s death and changing names on utility bills, phone bills and municipal tax bills, on top of planning a funeral. Karen felt “lost” amidst the “fuzziness” of this period.

She said: “Just before Paul died I literally Googled ‘how to cope when your husband dies young’, because I had no idea. My whole life was Paul, I have met when I was 18, and I just didn’t know where to start. So that’s when WAY popped up.

With over 4,500 members across the UK, Widowed and young (WAY) is the only national charity for people under the age of 50 at the time of their partner’s death. The charity, which celebrates National Bereavement Awareness Week from December 2-8, offers peer-to-peer support, social events like camping and picnics, and a helpline offering free advice .

It also gives people hands-on support with all the administrators Karen has faced and with access to government bereavement payments, which Karen didn’t realize she was entitled to. Karen already had “a fantastic support network” of family and friends, but she needed a group of people who had experienced this kind of loss themselves to feel understood. She found this in WAY.

Karen, who moved to Ormskirk after Paul’s death, said: “I have so much love for this charity, because I’m not sure I would be where I am today if it wasn’t for wasn’t for them, which seems pretty dramatic, but my whole world had just fallen apart and I was lost, and the person I would normally go to when I have a big, important life event – my husband – all of a sudden he was gone.”


Comments are closed.