'My twin's migraines stopped when I had my brain tumour removed'
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A woman said her painful migraines stopped when her twin sister had her brain tumour removed.
Back when Hilary Stockton was 18 years old, she began suffering from uncomfortable headaches and a change in her vision.
But at the same time, her identical twin sister Hayley also started to notice migraines herself.
Hilary booked in for an eye test and was then referred to HM Stanley Eye Hospital in Abergele, Wales and was sent on to Glan Clwyd Hospital A&E in Rhyl, where a scan revealed a mass on her brain.
Hilary was diagnosed with a low-grade brain tumour on 27 December 1993, a cancerous tumour with a generally better prognosis than high-grade cancers.
To make matters even scarier, the twins were both pregnant with their respective children when Hilary was diagnosed with the tumour just one month before her 19th birthday.
So when Hilary, now 47 years old, from Prestatyn, Denbighshire, underwent the procedure to remove the mass, it came with the added risk of losing her unborn baby.
Hayley said: “We were all so worried about Hilary. We were given terrifying statistics indicating she, or the baby, may not make it out of surgery.
"It was a traumatic time for the whole family,” she admitted.
Hilary went in for her operation at the Walton Centre in Liverpool, Merseyside, on 28 December 1993 to remove the tumour.
Luckily, Hilary’s surgery went smoothly, and the twins went on to safely give birth to their healthy babies just two weeks apart.
Hayley delivered Jordan, now 29, on 1 November 1993 and Hilary, who recovered from the surgery, gave birth to now 28-year-old Shona on 16 November 1993.
Even more amazingly, perhaps, once Hilary was out of surgery, both Hilary and Hayley’s migraines stopped.
Hayley, who appeared to be experiencing phantom pain as a result of her twin’s condition, attributed this experience to a ‘twin thing’.
The full-time carer said: “We’ve always had this kind of twin thing, be it through life’s milestones or sensing when one of us might be feeling a certain way.”
Hilary, who is now seen by a specialist ‘every couple of years’, is now able to live her live to the fullest as a result of the operation.
She said: “I have a check-up every couple of years and although I suffer from tunnel vision, I am able to live life without any limitations.”
Inspired by her sister, Hayley is taking on a 100 Squats or Star Jumps a day in November Challenge for Brain Tumour Research.
Hillary said of her sister, who is taking on the challenge: “My sister and I have always been close and I’m proud of Hayley for taking on this challenge for Brain Tumour Research and I’ll certainly be cheering her on throughout the month.”
You can donate to Hayley’s fundraiser for Brain Tumour Research here.