Caption: my brain tumour made me convinced my wife was having an affair
‘We got together almost eight years ago and had always been secure in our relationship,’ said Andy Hampton’s doting wife Gemma.
But after Gemma, 37, gave birth to their son Henley in May 2022, everything changed.
The 54-year-old father-of-four, Andy, who had slept through the birth of his son, showed no interest in his family and became increasingly paranoid Gemma, whom he’d been married to for three years, was cheating on him.
This was all out of character for the Dorset dad and he became increasingly distant and apathetic – but this behaviour turned out to be symptomatic of something much more sinister.
Andy’s bizarre symptoms were the by-product of a deadly glioblastoma (GBM) brain tumour – the most common type of primary malignant brain tumour in adults which is fast-growing.
Wife Gemma said: ‘Shortly after having Henley, I noticed huge changes in Andy’s personality.
Andy and Gemma Hampton on their Wedding Day July 2020 with baby Isabelle (Picture: Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)
‘I would ask Andy to change Henley’s nappy to which he would say he had a headache and I had to do it.
‘At first I thought it was an excuse and that he was struggling adapting to life with two young children.
‘It felt as though Andy wasn’t listening to me, and because I kept pointing out things that he was doing wrong, his paranoia caused him to believe things that weren’t true.’
While Andy had admitted to Gemma he knew his paranoia was all in his head, he said ‘he couldn’t stop the thoughts’.
Gemma admitted that the ‘final straw’ came when Andy couldn’t figure out how to take the duvet out of it’s cover one day.
From March to May 2023 Gemma also said Andy was ‘all over the place’ because ‘the infrequent episodes of confusion and paranoia were now daily’.
Andy Hampton on 8th June staples being removed (Picture: Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)
This resulted in Andy, who works as a land agent, booking a check-up with his GP, but having vomited on the way to the appointment, Andy was sent straight to A&E at Dorset County Hospital with a suspected infection.
Within 24-hours Andy’s cognition deteriorated and a scan diagnosed him with glioblastoma.
He had debulking surgery on 31 May 2023 at Southampton General Hospital followed by six weeks of combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Gemma said: ‘Instantly after the operation Andy’s mood changed, and his personality resembled the old Andy.
‘We felt better knowing that there was something to blame for Andy’s behaviour and that it wasn’t our marriage breaking down.
Henley, Andy, Gemma Hampton. 8 weeks before diagnosis (picture: Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)
‘We knew what we were dealing with and could work on a plan of action on how to battle the cancer.’
While he undergoes a second cycle of chemotherapy, Andy has signed up to take part in a sponsored walk for the charity Brain Tumour Research, which you can donate to here.
The Walk of Hope in Swanage is a fundraising event that will take place on September 30 to help find a cure for the disease.
Gemma, who began fundraising for the charity by selling home-grown vegetables when Andy was diagnosed, said: ‘Andy has really felt the fatigue that comes with every round of treatment.
‘He has always been an active person and together we have been going out on family walks in preparation for the event at the end of September. This will be a real challenge for him.’
Isabelle, Andy and Henley at hospital (Picture: Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)
Mel Tiley, the community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: ‘Andy’s story is a stark reminder of the indiscriminate nature of brain tumours, which can affect anyone at any time.
‘They kill more men under 70 than prostate cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease since records began in 2002.
‘We’re determined to change this but it’s only by working together we will be able to improve treatment options for patients and, ultimately, find a cure.’
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