‘One of the scariest moments in my life’

A GOLD Coast family has endured heartbreak after a horror seizure led to a devastating diagnosis.

Mudgeeraba father-of-three Daniel Mee is fighting a rare type of brain tumour which was discovered only after what his wife Leah called "the worst moment" of her life.

It was 2am on September 3 when the Mudgeeraba mother opened her eyes to see her husband sitting up rigidly foaming at the mouth.

The 40-year-old was having a seizure so violent that it fractured and dislocated one of his arms.


"I remember yelling at Daniel and he fell backwards in a seizure," she said. "Instinctively, I got up and locked the bedroom door so the kids couldn't come in and feel frightened.

"Our nine-year-old woke up and was at the door screaming and wanting to know what was going on.

"Once the seizure was done, Daniel was unable to talk or respond and couldn't get up.

"We didn't know he had dislocated his shoulder in three places, just that he was in a lot of pain."

Mrs Mee says she spent 30 hours at the Gold Coast University Hospital while her husband underwent a battery of tests to determine the cause of his seizure.

Daniel and Leah Mee at their Mudgerraba Home. Photograph: Jason O'Brien
Daniel and Leah Mee at their Mudgerraba Home. Photograph: Jason O'Brien

Encephalitis, a stroke and the flu were all ruled out before the tumour, a Grade 3 Oligodendroglioma, was discovered.

But this meant the family were faced with an incredibly risky choice.

"We were faced with the decision to do a craniotomy but the risk was extremely high," Mrs Mee said. "We were told he may never be able to walk again.

"The doctors were worried Daniel would not be able to feel one side of his body, would lose all communication and be unable to understand speech at all.

"But if we didn't do it he would have a life expectancy of six months to two years. So we did it."

Daniel underwent a nine-hour operation.
Daniel underwent a nine-hour operation.


Mr Mee underwent a nine-hour operation before an extended stay in the intensive care unit (ICU)

"The seizure was the most frightening thing that's ever happened in my life to that point but walking into ICU right after the operation was even more frightening," Mrs Mee said.

The Mee family, which includes nine-year-old Oliver, seven-year-old Charlotte and three-year-old Maxwell, were forced to wait for five days without answers.

Mr Mee, who owns a scrap tire company, was unable to communicate and remained aphasic.

The family, who are Christian, prayed for a swift recovery.

On the fifth day, their prayers were answered.

"It was a Sunday and I was driving into the church when my phone began to ring," Mrs Mee said.

Daniel and Leah with their kids Charlotte 7 , Maxwell 3 and Oliver 9. Photograph : Jason O'Brien
Daniel and Leah with their kids Charlotte 7 , Maxwell 3 and Oliver 9. Photograph : Jason O'Brien

"It was Daniel and he was talking to me.

"I have never had such an incredible sense of relief."

While back home, Mr Mee is unable to work and faces an extended period of recovery and chemotherapy.

He admits he has no memory of the incident.

"My first memories of it come from being in the ambulance," he said.

"It's been a tough few weeks and some days I have a better memory than other days. Sometimes I can't get the words."

Family and friends have set up a Gofundme page to help support the family through their ordeal.

To help, click here.