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'Remove the skull or lose him' - family's agony at father's stroke operation

PUBLISHED: 11:46 30 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:09 30 March 2019

Stuart Beaumont, 41, with wife Emma Beaumont, 40, daughter Megan, 9, and son Lucas, 3. Photo: Supplied by Emma Beamont

Stuart Beaumont, 41, with wife Emma Beaumont, 40, daughter Megan, 9, and son Lucas, 3. Photo: Supplied by Emma Beamont

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A north Norfolk woman has spoken out about the painful decision for her husband to undergo life-changing surgery after suffering a severe stroke which left him unable to speak.

Emma Beaumont, left, with colleagues from Flix Hair Design in Fakenham, fundraising for the Stroke Association last year. Photo: Emma BeaumontEmma Beaumont, left, with colleagues from Flix Hair Design in Fakenham, fundraising for the Stroke Association last year. Photo: Emma Beaumont

Stuart Beaumont, 41, collapsed in his bathroom in Wicken Green, near Fakenham, on Wednesday, January 3, last year.

The former taxi driver suffered a clot on his brain, and a five hour operation saw doctors remove half of his skull to relieve the pressure on his brain.

His wife, Emma Beaumont, said: “It was just a normal Wednesday morning. We didn’t have any signs of a stroke - he just collapsed in the bathroom.

“It was severe. The whole left side of his brain was affected.”

Emma Beaumont, centre, with colleagues from Flix Hair Design in Fakenham, fundraising for the Stroke Association last year. Photo: Emma BeaumontEmma Beaumont, centre, with colleagues from Flix Hair Design in Fakenham, fundraising for the Stroke Association last year. Photo: Emma Beaumont

Mr Beaumont was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge for the emergency surgery, from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King’s Lynn.

“He had half his skull removed,” said Mrs Beaumont, 40.

“He was like that until June until he had a plate fitted.

“It was a choice of remove the skull and the pressure or lose him.

“We chose what any family would do - it was quite scary.”

Mr Beaumont was able to return home in April, where he is continuing to recover, but now has limited speech and understanding.

But Mrs Beaumont praised the staff at the QEH’s stroke unit, and said: “As soon as he got back from Addenbrooke’s they were getting him up on his feet.

“He got movement back in his legs and had all kinds of therapy.

“They helped us as a family, as my eldest couldn’t cope seeing her dad in hospital.

“Only having half his skull was quite a scary thing for her and they were great at coaxing her to go near him, as she wouldn’t at all.

“The nurses are brilliant - very kind, helpful and understanding.”

And now the family - alongside Mrs Beaumont’s colleagues at Flix Hair Design in Fakenham - are hoping to raise £2,000 to thank the stroke unit, after raising £1,925 for the Stroke Association last year.

The salon will hold bake sales on Thursday, May 30, and Friday, May 31, and Thursday, October 24, and Friday, October 25, as well as selling raffle tickets for a prize draw on Thursday, August 1.

They are also holding a silent auction for two garden sculptures donated by J Acton Engineering and Keith Dack AOT Engineering, on Monday, July 1.

Anyone who wants to donate a raffle prize or buy a ticket should contact Flix Hair Design salon in Fakenham.

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