First Facebook fundraiser thanks hospitals for his care

04 Jun 2018

A year ago, an opticians appointment unexpectedly revealed that Boonmee “Nueung” Pakham, 24, had cancerous brain tumours. 

Thanks to the quick work of the staff in the Barts Health hospitals, Nueung is now on the road to recovery and has used Facebook’s new fundraising tool to raise money for the teams that cared for him so well.

It all began when Nueung broke his glasses during his Christmas holiday. He booked an appointment at his local John Lewis opticians when he was back home, who discovered that the optic nerves behind both eyes were swollen.

Concerned, the optician referred him to Moorfields Eye Hospital, who then sent him on to Newham University Hospital for scans. Nueung was immediately transferred to The Royal London Hospital’s neurology ward.

More in-depth scans revealed that Nueung had lesions on his brain and spine, caused by cancerous tumours. He was given an external shunt to remove excess fluid from his brain and relieve the pressure that had given him migraines and a ‘swooshing’ sensation in his ear. He says that without this operation, he could have gone blind.

After a month’s stay at The Royal London, Nueung began a course of Radiotherapy under the care of Dr Plowman, Head of Clinical Oncology at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. He says that the staff’s kindness and care made the whole experience bearable: “The staff were just great – words can't describe how I feel about them. It takes a certain type of person to work in a hospital, I can’t commend them enough.”

He namechecks Hannah Lowe, Neuro-oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, who offered incredible support through the whole process: “She makes you feel like you’re the only person who matters.”

Nueung is doing well - he now has an internal shunt and check-ups every six months. Since treatment he’s been able to travel to Machu Picchu and the USA, with an upcoming trip to Ecuador planned.

A few months ago, while browsing Facebook, he received a notification asking if he would like to use Facebook’s new tool to fundraise for a charity for his birthday, “I thought, ‘now’s my chance to give something back!’” he says.

His friends surprised him with their generosity, and Nueung found he had to keep increasing his target for the fundraiser.

Thank you, Nueung, for making your experience an opportunity to change lives in the future.

Find out more about fundraising on Facebook on our page here.

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Before, Nueung had long hair (pictured top right) but needed to have it shaved to have surgery on his brain to insert the shunt.

This video shows his hair growing back...

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