Monday 17 December 2018

'You're somebody's mum, so you've got to hold it together' - TV presenter on son's (17) shock diagnosis

Undated handout photo issued by Tina Price Consultants of Philippa Forrester with her son Fred, 17, as the former Robot Wars presenter has revealed she thought she was going to lose her son after learning he had a brain tumour. Photo: Charlie Hamilton James/PA Wire
Undated handout photo issued by Tina Price Consultants of Philippa Forrester with her son Fred, 17, as the former Robot Wars presenter has revealed she thought she was going to lose her son after learning he had a brain tumour. Photo: Charlie Hamilton James/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Former Robot Wars presenter Philippa Forrester has revealed she thought she was going to lose her teenage son after learning he had a brain tumour.

The broadcaster's son, Fred, 17, suffered a seizure and smashed his head against a wall before doctors discovered an "absolutely massive" brain tumour in 2016 which turned out to be cancerous.

Undated handout photo issued by Tina Price Consultants of Philippa Forrester's son Fred, 17, in hospital. The former Robot Wars presenter has revealed she thought she was going to lose her son after learning he had a brain tumour. Photo: Charlie Hamilton James/PA Wire
Undated handout photo issued by Tina Price Consultants of Philippa Forrester's son Fred, 17, in hospital. The former Robot Wars presenter has revealed she thought she was going to lose her son after learning he had a brain tumour. Photo: Charlie Hamilton James/PA Wire

The youngster underwent a four-hour surgery to remove the tumour which was found to be PNGT glioma, a little-known cancer often diagnosed in teenagers.

After doctors told her the initial diagnosis, Forrester, 49, said she "went to the bathroom and vomited in shock" in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.

The ex-Tomorrow's World presenter now lives in the US with her husband, photojournalist Charlie Hamilton James, and Fred was flown to a children's hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he was admitted to a neurology ward.

She recalled: "It was like being in a dream. As we flew over the mountains I just looked down and thought, 'I don't know if he's ever going to see them again.' But you don't panic because you're somebody's mum, so you've got to hold it together."

Forrester is now attempting to raise awareness of early diagnosis for Brain Tumour Awareness month.

She told the newspaper: "Early diagnosis is key.

"If I hadn't taken him to the eye doctor we could have lost him. Often the tumour isn't spotted and the person just dies because there isn't time to save them. We have been incredibly lucky."

Brain Tumour Awareness month takes place throughout March and is organised by a number of groups including The Brain Tumour Charity, which runs the HeadSmart campaign.

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News