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Bride-to-be who was left unable to walk or talk after being diagnosed with two brain tumours at 21 walks down the aisle after being nursed back to health by her devoted fiancé

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 12/06/2019 Natalie Corner For Mailonline

Bride and groom holding their hands together © Getty Bride and groom holding their hands together A bride-to-be who struggled to speak or stand unaided following brain tumour surgery made a remarkable recovery thanks to her devoted fiancé who helped nurse her back to health.

Bethany Whiting, now 23, from Chatteris in Cambridgeshire, was diagnosed with two brain tumours at the age of 21 after numerous fruitless GP visits over a four-year period to seek help for crippling headaches that often left her bedbound. 

It was a newly-qualified doctor at her local practice who finally referred her for the brain scan where she discovered the terrifying news in April 2017.

Just a year and two months after her initial diagnosis, Bethany was able to walk down the aisle on the arm of her father Philip to say 'I do' to her now husband Adam, 22.

a person lying on a bed: After four years of suffering from headaches that often left her bedbound, Bethany Whiting was eventually diagnosed with two brain tumours © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited After four years of suffering from headaches that often left her bedbound, Bethany Whiting was eventually diagnosed with two brain tumours

Adam, 22, a youth and student pastor at St Mary's Church in Luton met Bethany in 2015 when they were both studying at the University of Bedfordshire.

They had got engaged just two months before Bethany's diagnosis.

a person standing in front of a car posing for the camera: The couple got married in July 2018 with Bethany walking down the aisle on the arm of her father Philip to say her vows © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The couple got married in July 2018 with Bethany walking down the aisle on the arm of her father Philip to say her vows Surgeons managed to remove one of the tumours, although taking out the second was judged too risky because of its position in her brain.

The eight-hour operation at Addenbrooke's hospital in Cambridgeshire in May 2017 left Bethany unable to walk or to talk without slurring.

The student feared she might never be able to walk down the aisle to marry fiancé Adam.

But with Adam's unstinting support, Bethany made a remarkable recovery.

a man wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: She was feared her diagnosis would mean she may never walk down the aisle to marry her fiancé Adam - but she recovered with his help © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited She was feared her diagnosis would mean she may never walk down the aisle to marry her fiancé Adam - but she recovered with his help

She is sharing her story through The Brain Tumour Charity to raise awareness of brain tumours, their symptoms and their impact.

Bethany said: 'After my surgery, I had no NHS physiotherapy or speech therapy - it was Adam who helped me learn to walk and talk again.

'I was given a zimmer frame by the hospital and Adam's mum had a pair of crutches that I borrowed.

'Gradually I weaned myself off the frame onto the crutches, then onto one crutch using Adam for support until I was doing it by myself.

'Then I would walk towards him step by step across the room, with him encouraging me.'

He also helped Bethany to overcome speech problems caused by her surgery.

Bethany said: 'I was very slurred and all of my words would get jumbled up. Sometimes I'd get very confused.

'Adam would help me string sentences together and encourage me to talk slowly until he could understand me.'

a couple of people posing for the camera: Adam supported Bethany through her recovery helping her to learn how to walk unaided as well as encouraging her to speak without slurring © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Adam supported Bethany through her recovery helping her to learn how to walk unaided as well as encouraging her to speak without slurring

They married at Emmanuel Church in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire in July last year, where Bethany walked down the aisle with the help of her father.

'It was amazing,' Bethany said. 'It was a year and two months after my diagnosis. My hair had grown back again after I'd had to have some of it shaved off for my surgery.

'I had family there who hadn't seen me since before my operation because they were in other countries.

'I was so worried about being able to walk down the aisle without falling down and about being able to say my vows without slurring.

'But it all went perfectly.'

a man sitting on a table: The student has been fundraising for The Brain Tumour Charity's HeadSmart campaign to highlight symptoms of brain tumours in children and teenagers © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The student has been fundraising for The Brain Tumour Charity's HeadSmart campaign to highlight symptoms of brain tumours in children and teenagers

Bethany is now finishing her course in psychology, counselling and therapies at the University of Bedfordshire after a short break in her second year following her diagnosis.

She wants to encourage others to persist if their instincts tell them something is seriously wrong and is supporting The Brain Tumour Charity's HeadSmart campaign to highlight the signs and symptoms of brain tumours in children and teenagers.

'I saw so many different doctors and they all told me I just had headaches. I started to believe that. Many people would have let it go.

'But I also knew there was something else wrong. It's about carrying on and pushing.'

Bethany has returned back to finish her course in psychology, counselling and therapies at the University of Bedfordshire © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Bethany has returned back to finish her course in psychology, counselling and therapies at the University of Bedfordshire

Bethany, who has raised money for The Brain Tumour Charity since her wedding through a sponsored head-shave, also wants to inspire hope in others affected by a brain tumour diagnosis.

'After my surgery I couldn't walk or talk, I was severely fatigued and completely dependent on my family. I am so thankful to them for everything they did for me.

'Now there is very little I struggle with. I still get tired and sometimes find writing difficult, but other than that I feel better than I ever have.'

Bethany will continue to be monitored for any sign of growth in the tumour that could not be safely removed. Both of the tumours were low-grade (non-cancerous).

Sarah Lindsell, chief executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, said: 'Bethany's is an inspirational story of love and determination in the face of a shocking diagnosis.

'We're so grateful to her for sharing her experience of a brain tumour and for raising funds for The Brain Tumour Charity in order to help others.

'We wish Bethany and Adam very many happy years together.'

MSN are empowering Women In Sport this summer. Find out more about our campaign and the charity fighting to promote the transformational and lifelong rewards of exercise for women and girls in the UK here.

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