Yorkshire woman had 'lemon-sized' brain tumour growing for 20 years - which was only discovered when she forget her daughter

A woman was diagnosed with a lemon-sized brain tumour which had been growing for 20 years - after forgetting her own daughter.

Sorrall Dovey, 52, a retired nurse, was told she had the mass when she was 43 after she experienced migraines, numbness and started to mistake her daughter, Morgan, 24, as her sister, Frances.

Doctors suspected the tumour - which was approximately eight centimetres - had been growing since Sorrall was in her early 20s. Sorrall had surgery to remove as much of the tumour as possible but tumour returned four years later in December 2016. She had another operation to remove the tumour in 2017 and has defied the odds to surpass the four-year prognosis she was given.

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Morgan, a researcher, from Sheffield, said: "It was a devastating blow. We knew there was a high possibility of it returning, but we didn't think it would happen so quickly. Mum bravely had treatment in 2017, and there have been no signs of growth since.

Sorrall (left) and Morgan at Morgan's graduation.Sorrall (left) and Morgan at Morgan's graduation.
Sorrall (left) and Morgan at Morgan's graduation.

"She has now surpassed the four-year prognosis we were given post-treatment and defied all odds - she's an inspiration to me."

Sorrall's cancer was originally diagnosed in 2012 after doctors spotted a lemon-sized tumour behind her left eye.

After having it removed, the tumour returned four years later in 2016 and Sorrall was given a four-year prognosis.

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Morgan said: "Mum had terrible migraines that would leave her bedridden for days. She also experienced numbness in her right eye and hand, and pain in her neck. The symptoms progressed to memory problems.

"She began calling me 'Frances' - the name of her sister. She would also mix up words for common objects and forget other words entirely."

The symptoms made Sorrall's job incredibly difficult as she would often experience "an awful numbing headache" where she "couldn't move, see or breathe" - forcing her to retire.

Sorrall said: "There is a lot more research needed - especially surrounding what causes brain tumours. When people have head problems they should be scanned sooner, so they don't have such a big operation initially, like I did."

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Despite recovering well, Sorrall has persistent memory problems and often cannot remember the words for everyday objects.

Morgan said: "Her brain tumour diagnosis has had a huge impact on her confidence. She struggles to use technology like mobile phones, and this can cause her a great deal of stress and panic, but my brother and I are usually on hand to help her with this type of problem."

In September, Morgan ran the Sheffield 10k to help raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity.

Morgan said: "Research into brain tumours is incredibly important as there are still huge gaps in our knowledge when it comes to understanding how these tumours develop and the best ways to tackle them in a way that causes the least amount of damage to health brain tissue. I know that raising money for the Brain Tumour Charity will fund vital research - research that my friends are doing."