Celebrities

Tom Parker recalls how he was on his own when he was told of devastating brain tumour

The Wanted's Tom Parker has recalled the devastating moment he was told that he had a brain tumour in his new documentary series.

Tom, 33, who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in October last year, described on the Channel 4 documentary, Inside My Head, how he was given the diagnosis at Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital.

The dad-of-two, who shares children Aurelia, two, and 11 month old Bodhi, with his wife Kelsey Hardwick, described how he believed the doctors were mistaken when they gave him the diagnosis.

Recalling the diagnosis, he said: "Because of the Covid situation I was on my own in Norwich hospital and they came in and put the curtain round and said: 'You have got a brain tumour.'"

Tom, who broke down in an emotional scene on the documentary, said: "'I can't have? You have got to have made a mistake? I am 32 years old?' And it was."

Meanwhile his wife Kelsey described how she 'could not stop shaking' as Tom was taken to hospital by the paramedics in October.

The documentary also saw Tom getting emotional alongside Kelsey as he looked back on past MRI scans. But after 30 rounds of chemotherapy and 30 radiotherapy sessions, his grade four glioblastoma is shrinking.

"It does look a lot more under control doesn't it?" said Tom as he scrolled back through the scans. "But it's still there isn't it," he observed.

"But it's not growing. It just doesn't look as prominent does it?" Tom said, turning to Kelsey. "I needed this," he added smiling as he breathed a sigh of relief.

"This is why you to have this album on there, so you can look back and go, 'Right, Okay. That's what it looked like and this is where I'm at,'" replied Kelsey.

Despite the improvements, Tom admitted: "I don't think you can ever feel like you've turned a corner with something so serious. Some people die within four months of getting a diagnosis."

However, the couple have been praised for their positivity throughout the ordeal. Tom has fought his battle against cancer tirelessly, refusing to ask for a prognosis – which he and Kelsey deem "pointless" – and only taking breaks from treatments over the weekends.

Tom revealed in the documentary that the couple have also explored "the private route." Doing so has allowed him to access experimental new drugs at University College Hospital in London.

"With the NHS you get chemotherapy, radiotherapy and that's pretty much it. So we decided that we're gonna go and explore the private route," he explained.

Tom has described the whole experience as "awful and unnerving" and admitted he questioned whether it was doing him any good overall. He even considered stopping the treatment altogether.

However, Kelsey, who tied the knot with Tom in 2018, said she would make him continue with the treatment if he ever faltered.

Thankfully, it has been working and in his new documentary Tom Parker: Inside My Head, cameras captured the moment consultants told him and Kelsey that the tumour has stopped growing and has instead reduced in size.

Tom Parker: Inside My Head is on Channel 4 on Sunday 10 October at 9pm. Inside My Head – The Concert follows at 10.30pm on 4Music.

To donate to Stand Up To Cancer, go to channel4.com/SU2C. 100% of your donation goes to Cancer Research UK in support of the SU2C campaign.

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