Observer comment

Maria Winchester went to see her GP complaining of severe headaches, dizziness and voices in her head. (page 10)

She went to the A&E at the Conquest after suffering a seizure and complaining about a woman’s voice in her mind.

She was losing weight, had high blood pressure and was struggling to get by on a day-to-day basis.

Are these the tell-tale signs of somebody suffering from depression?

An ambitious young woman who had everything to live for; a great family, young son, good job and comfortable home life.

It is hard to understand how a doctor can not recognise the fact that somebody with repeated severe headaches and dizziness over six months has something wrong inside their head.

It is even more worrying that upon visiting a doctor for a third time, almost a year later still complaining about the same symptoms, she is diagnosed with anxiety and put on anti-depressants.

Maria’s medication was a mild form of anti-depressants and luckily she was able to wean herself off them.

But the dangers of anti-depressants are they can become very addictive and hard to get off which could have created even more problems for Maria.

What is even more exasperating is Maria having to turn to private medical healthcare to have the operation she so desperately needed nine months after first presenting herself to her GP.

Thankfully she underwent a successful operation to remove her tumour but she should never have had to endure such worry, pain and suffering.

Maria is now a vocal campaigner for more awareness of brain tumours especially in young adults.

The HeadSmart organisation offers a simple and easy to use list of symptoms that even a child could recognise.

Hopefully lessons will be learned and no one else has to go through what Maria did.

IT is unheard of for the residents of Hastings and St Leonards to let an opportunity for a party slip by unnoticed, and the Diamond Jubilee long weekend is no exception.

Reams of bunting are already visible, as are large numbers of Union flags.

Among the many events this weekend are street parties, the Diamond Jubilee Concert at the White Rock Theatre, and the lighting of the East Hill beacon.

Hastings residents are also doing their bit further afield, as two volunteer crew members of Hastings RNLI lifeboat station are heading to London for the Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant, to help ensure that participants and spectators stay safe.

One of Hastings’ own boats ‘Roy’s Boys’ will be taking part in the pageant on Sunday, nominated to represent East Sussex.

Let’s hope the good weather holds for what promises to be a celebration not to be missed.