By Matthew Barrett
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Back in May, we reported how the MP for Hexham, Guy Opperman, was diagnosed with a brain tumour - by fellow MP, Daniel Poulter.
Guy Opperman on the Hadrian’s Wall Charity Walk in Northumberland.
"On April 26th I was taken ill in the House of Commons. It was discovered that I had a benign brain tumour. I had a meningioma – which is a slow growing bump that starts just inside your skull and presses down upon the brain. Fortunately, thanks to amazing NHS treatment, my tumour was removed completely, with no after effects whatsoever – aside from a tiny scar behind my hairline. I feel amazingly well – and have just walked over 70 miles along the length of Hadrian’s Wall. This proved my fitness and raised money for two great charities, the National Neurological Hospital, that treated me so successfully, and Tynedale Hospice, the local care charity in my constituency of Hexham.
Although I returned part time to the House in July, today is my first day back when the House of Commons is sitting. I have been overwhelmed by the hundreds of cards, letters, messages, and the odd bunch of flowers, that have been sent by constituents, friends, the Prime Minister and parliamentary colleagues (from all colours of the political spectrum).
As always, illness brings perspective, and it is simply great to be back full time doing a job I love. However, my thoughts go out in particular to my parliamentary colleague, Paul Blomfield, the MP for Sheffield Central, who is recovering from similar surgery.
Having had my life saved once before when I was a jockey, and got my left side crushed by a falling horse in a race at Stratford, I know how amazing the NHS is. It is a wonderful institution, which will always be free and which belongs to every one of us in this great country. I was very well looked after by the nurses and doctors, who struggle with too much bureaucracy and managerial/government edicts that occasionally defy logic.
That the NHS needs reform and improvement is beyond question. I owe the NHS an incredible debt. I will spend the rest of my life trying to pay it back."
Our very best wishes to Mr Opperman on his recovery!