Kelly was a mum to a newborn baby boy when she underwent treatment for a brain tumour

#97 Kelly was heavily pregnant when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour

Date published

27 Jun 2024
Kelly was expecting her first child when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour

In 2002, as a fit country woman eagerly awaiting the birth of her first child, Kelly Foran believed her issues with balance and co-ordination were simply related to her ever-growing 'baby belly'. But after going to the hospital with her husband for some tests, Kelly was told she was likely succumbing to pre-eclampsia. Then a visiting ED Doctor noticed Kelly stumbling in the hospital corridor, he asked her if he could 'run a few more tests'.

Kelly's baby, Jake, was born shortly after she was diagnosed witha  brain tumour

The scans Kelly underwent that night revealed a possible aneurism was pressing onto her brain and was threatening the life of both herself and her unborn child. But just hours later, she was told that the mass in her brain was a the size of a 'goose egg', and was actually one of the largest brain tumours that her Doctor had ever seen. Kelly, with her husband Dave by her side, were transported by the RFDS for life-saving treatments - while her medical team co-ordinated how to safely deliver Kelly's baby into the world.

Kelly's baby Jake was diagnosed with eye cancer

After Kelly's son Jake was delivered safely, he experienced a range of medical complications. Meanwhile, Kelly was told that her brain tumour needed to be shrunk via steroids before any operation would be feasible. So Kelly and her newborn baby were 'sent home' to await further operations and updates, not knowing whether Kelly was even likely to survive. But Kelly's family's health challenges were only just beginning. After undergoing a 16 hour operation to remove her own tumour, just a few months later, her baby Jake was diagnosed with cancer of the eye.

Kelly has dedicated her life to helping others through her Friendly Faces, Helping Hands Foundation

In this remarkable and inspiring episode #97 of the Flying Doctor Podcast, Kelly bravely shares how both she and her young son fought hard to stay alive. And how her experiences as a rural patient inspired her to start the 'Friendly Faces, Helping Hands Foundation' - an organisation dedicated to helping country patients and their families to navigate the often daunting requirements of attending city-based medical treatments and appointments.