13 February 2023
Skydiving is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event, which is why Tegan Hide will spend her 18th birthday climbing to 15,000 feet before jumping out of plane! After having been diagnosed with benign tumours in 2019, Tegan is keen to tick some things off her bucket list in support of Southampton Hospitals Charity.
“I am in my second year of college studying business and beauty, and hope this will give me the skills to open my own beauty studio one day.
The last few years have been the hardest of my life. It started in September 2019 when I had severe back pain.
The GP sent me for an MRI scan at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, where they discovered I had Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2).”
This is a genetic condition that causes tumours to grow along your nerves.
“The MRI scans showed small benign tumours on my spinal cord and the nerves associated with hearing. I had regular scans to closely monitor their progress and growth.
In August 2019 I was referred to the Piam Brown children’s cancer ward at Southampton Children’s Hospital as the specialist centre for childhood cancer in the region.
I have received monthly chemotherapy treatment to slow the growth of the tumours. After three months, scans showed the tumours, whilst still benign, had started to grow again, so they increased the chemotherapy dosage and frequency to every two weeks.
Almost everyone with NF2 develops tumours along the nerves responsible for hearing and balance. I lost my hearing completely.
I needed surgery for my eye sight, but this had to be delayed due to the urgency of the chemotherapy.
The last few years have been such a challenge, but thankfully my hearing is coming back slowly. I still have regular MRI scans to check on the tumours and I will continue regular chemotherapy.
The staff on the ward have made the whole process that little bit easier. They really took the time to explain everything that was happening. Every time I go to the ward, they are so warm and welcoming.
Skydiving on my eighteenth birthday!
On 27 May I turn 18! I thought what better way to thank the hospital, than to sign up for a skydive, along with my dad, for Southampton Hospitals Charity.
This is not only to thank each and every member of staff, but also so the ward can continue to offer amazing things to the children and parents, such as family outings, bedside entertainment and games, plus ward amenities, all funded through the Charity.
This was the perfect time for me to show my appreciation. I am nervous about the jump, but I know it will be an incredible experience.”