Father-to-be, 31, suffers five-minute seizure before shocking diagnosis


A couple has received shocking news just a month after they discovered they were expecting their first child.

Joel North was at work on March 11 when he suffered a seizure that lasted for five minutes.

His wife, Anita, called the ambulance and he was taken to hospital in Lismore, in northeastern NSW, where a tumour larger than a golf ball was discovered in his brain.

Joel and Anita North are expecting their first baby in October. Source: GoFundMe

The couple had only just found out they were having a baby in October after being devastated by a miscarriage last year.

Mr North needs to undergo surgery to have the tumour removed and a GoFundMe page says only then will they know what grade of cancer it is.

“Joel’s best chance at survival hinges on this major operation,” the page raising money for the surgery says.

A tumour larger than a golf ball was discovered on Mr North’s brain. Source: GoFundMe

Mr North is just 31 years old and has lived a healthy lifestyle, but now he needs to be supervised 24 hours a day in case he suffers another seizure.

As well as needing funding for the operation, Mr North and his wife will be out of work for the unforeseeable future while they deal with the news.

“Until a biopsy is completed no one knows what grade of cancer the tumour is. This uncertainty adds to the urgency for the surgery, as tumours can change from benign to aggressive and the seizure tells us that it is time to take action now,” the GoFundMe page says.

Mr North and his wife discovered the news a month after they found out they were having a baby. Source: GoFundMe

Last week Mr North met Australian neurosurgeon Charlie Teo who said there was a one in five chance of lasting side effects as a result of the surgery.

“The main risks are to the motor skills on Joel’s left-hand side, possibly resulting in paralysis and life in a wheelchair,” the fundraising page said.

“There is also the risk of death during surgery.

The Norths are raising money for surgery to be performed by Australian neurosurgeon Charlie Teo (centre). Source: GoFundMe

“This is just chapter one, once the tumour is biopsied and identified it will determine how chapter two plays out, but likely will involve chemotherapy or radiotherapy.”

The couple does not have private health insurance and are raising money for the $130,000 surgery.

“It is with humble hearts that we ask you to please help donate anything that you can to help this little family access the surgery that they need to hopefully get back to the bright future they were planning,” the GoFundMe says.

“Joel’s main goal is to be alive and well to celebrate the birth of Poppy in October.”

At the time of publication, more than $97,000 has already been raised to help the couple.

You can donate money to help Joel North by visiting his GoFundMe page. 

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