I went to the hospital for food poisoning — doctors found a tumor that had been growing for 30 years

Theresa Hardwick with daughter Anna taken pre-operation.
Theresa Hardwick with daughter Anna taken pre-operation.

A mom said food poisoning led doctors to discover a brain tumor — and she feels “lucky” it happened.

Theresa Hardwick, 58, was on vacation in Saint Brieuc, Brittany, France, in July of 2019 when she started feeling very ill from mussels she had eaten.

“There were no warning signs before I was sick with food poisoning,” the mom-of-two told SWNS.

In addition to throwing up, she was also speaking “nonsense,” which prompted her husband Paul, 56, to rush her to Central Hospitalier de Saint Brieuc. She was later transferred to St. Richard’s Hospital, Chichester in the UK.

Theresa Hardwick with daughter Anna in the hospital after her surgery. Brain Tumour Research / SWNS
Theresa Hardwick with daughter Anna in the hospital after her surgery. Brain Tumour Research / SWNS

She had a seizure at Chichester, and that’s when doctors found a low-grade brain tumor inside her brain — which had been growing for 30 years.

“Had I never been sick, my tumor might still be undiscovered,” she said.

“The doctors think my brain went into spasm from the effects of the food poisoning.”

Luckily her tumor was noncancerous and doctors were able to surgically remove it in August 2019.

Theresa Hardwick with daughter Anna taken pre-operation. Brain Tumour Research / SWNS
Theresa Hardwick with daughter Anna taken pre-operation. Brain Tumour Research / SWNS
Hardwick’s daughter has been supportive of her recovery. Brain Tumour Research / SWNS
Hardwick’s daughter has been supportive of her recovery. Brain Tumour Research / SWNS

Hardwick is recovering well but will need to get scans to make sure her tumor doesn’t come back.

“I feel lucky that my tumor was operable and I’m now monitored with regular brain scans.

“However, I understand there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to brain tumors.”

Her family has been supportive as well. Her daughter Anna, a 25-year-old finance assistant, is going to climb 5,859 miles up Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for brain tumor research.