Brain tumour patient opens up on giving birth to miracle baby

Lisa Connell

Lisa Connell gave birth to Ruby despite doctors believing it could kill her. - Credit: Brain Tumour Research

A Potters Bar brain tumour patient has opened up on giving birth to her miracle baby after initially being told pregnancy could kill her.

Lisa Connell was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour at the age of 26, and the devastating news came just a few months into her first pregnancy with a baby she tragically lost.

Nine years later, she accidentally became pregnant again, something which put her life at risk as doctors told her the hormones would feed the tumour.

She pushed on with her pregnancy, and Lisa is now working alongside Brain Tumour Research to share her story of hope.

“It was horrifying enough to be told that I had a brain tumour, but devastating to also be told that I couldn’t have children,” she said.

Ruby Connell Lisa Connell

Ruby was born six weeks early. - Credit: Brain Tumour Research

“When I got pregnant again by accident nine years later, I made the decision to ignore the medics urging me to have an abortion and carry on with the pregnancy.

“I was prepared to take the risks if it meant there was even a small chance that I could become a mum.”

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A visit to a psychic medium helped her make the decisions, continuing: “I was spurred on by the fact that on the day I discovered I was pregnant, I was due to see a medium that evening and when I went, having not told anyone my secret, the medium pointed to my stomach and said: ‘You’re going to be fine’.”

During the pregnancy, Lisa felt pain radiating up into her head and concern grew about her tumour. Then, her baby came six weeks early, just a day after her 34-week scan.

“She was tiny, just 4lbs and 6oz, and remained in the hospital for a further 12 days. But she was absolutely perfect,” recalled Lisa.

Ruby is now five and happy and healthy, while Lisa has undergone Gamma Knife surgery to debulk the tumour, which only succeeded in reducing it in size by around 5 per cent. She now lives with agonising facial spasms which can occur up to 12 times a day.

Lisa Connell

Ruby, now five, and mum Lisa. - Credit: Brain Tumour Research

Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Lisa’s story is a stark reminder that brain tumours are indiscriminate and can affect anyone of any age at any time.

“They kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet historically just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

“We are very grateful for Lisa and Ruby’s support as we remain focused on changing this situation through our continued commitment to fund vital research.”

To donate to Brain Tumour Research, visit