MP Gives Thanks to Those Who Saved His Life; Celebrations at Hospital as Centre Opens

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Byline: Paul Tully

AYEAR after Hexham MP Guy Opperman fell ill with a brain tumour, he will today pay a poignant return visit to the London hospital where his life was saved. Mr Opperman, 46, will be a special guest at the National Neurological and Neurosurgery Hospital in Queen Square, London, today when a new neuroimaging analysis centre is officially opened. Money raised by generous people in the North East has gone to the hospital via the National Brain Appeal - raised by Mr Opperman's sponsored six-day, 60-mile Hadrian's Wall walk in the aftermath of his operation and convalescence.

A total of pounds 3,050 was donated to the hospital, with a further pounds 3,050 going to Tynedale Hospice at Home.

Mr Opperman, who held the Conservative stronghold at Hexham in the last General Election, said: "It is great that some of the money raised by local Northumberland people has gone towards the neurological centre.

"There will also be a plaque placed from the people of Northumberland.

"I am going to a special presentation there and I am looking forward to once again meeting the doctors there, and my surgeon, Neil Kitchen.

"I am greatly looking forward to catching up with them - and I shall be taking chocolates for the nurses!" Mr Opperman presented the money raised from the Wall walk to Theresa Dauncey, chief executive of the National Brain Appeal, in February.

The MP collapsed in the House of Commons on April 26 and was helped by colleagues before being taken to hospital.

He was diagnosed with a non-malignant meningioma, a tumour of the protective membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

The tumour was successfully removed by Mr Kitchen, one of the UK's leading neurosurgeons.

The MP then convalesced for three months at his parents' home in Wiltshire before easing himself steadily back into mainstream politics. …