John O'Neill on the helipad of Toowoomba Hospital before being airlifted to Brisbane for an emergency brain operation to remove a tumour.
John O'Neill on the helipad of Toowoomba Hospital before being airlifted to Brisbane for an emergency brain operation to remove a tumour. John O'Neill

Man with golf ball-sized tumour saved by quick doctors

JOHN O'Neill knows he's lucky to be alive - and he has medical staff in Toowoomba to thank for it.

The Sydneysider has expressed his gratitude to hospital and RACQ LifeFlight crews for rushing him to Brisbane after he collapsed from a golf-ball sized tumour on his brain.

Mr O'Neill said he was in the Garden City on a work trip earlier this month when he was found in his hotel room disoriented and barely conscious.

"I stayed in a room in the Central Plaza (on Ruthven St) and it turned out I had begun to get some seizures," he said.

"My wife managed to get a hold of my work manager who called the hotel, and the hotel night manager came in and found my behaviour was a bit erratic. Apparently I was wearing my clothes backwards.

"They quickly realised that something was up and I went to Toowoomba Hospital first and they did a couple of scans and spotted this tumour."

 

VERY LUCKY: Sydney man John O'Neill was rushed from Toowoomba Hospital to Brisbane by chopper after he collapsed from a massive tumour on his brain.
VERY LUCKY: Sydney man John O'Neill was rushed from Toowoomba Hospital to Brisbane by chopper after he collapsed from a massive tumour on his brain. Contributed

The staff then organised the RACQ LifeFlight helicopter to rush Mr O'Neill to the Princess Alexandria Hospital in Brisbane, where a neurosurgeon performed an emergency procedure to remove the tumour.

Mr O'Neill said he was overwhelmed by the staff's speed as well as their manner while he was disoriented and confused.

"The whole way along the medical staff were so amazing. I was so impressed with the quality of service," he said.

"I feel lucky and I'm so grateful for the medical staff.

"I just wanted to thank them all - I'm so grateful."

Mr O'Neill will now undergo rounds of preventative radiotherapy and chemotherapy to ensure there weren't any more episodes.

As for his thoughts on Toowoomba, the IT expert said he'd love to return to the city that helped save his life.

"I've been up a couple of times before. I like Toowoomba, it's a nice town," he said.



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