Dad who went to doctors when water spurted from nose told he had months to live
He took a drink of water and it came back out of his nose
A man who was surprised when water spurted from his nose after taking a drink was taken aback when a visit to the doctor revealed he had months to live.
Phil Sledden-Houston of Middleton, Rochdale, was just 48-years-old when he discovered he needed life-saving invasive surgery after it was discovered he had a tumour "the size of a tennis ball" inside his cheek.
As per the Manchester Evening News, the father of two had been a heavy smoker for years, starting around "15 or 16" and in 2018, "[he] was drinking water and some of it came out of [his] nose."
Immediately alarmed, Sledden-Houston said, "I knew something wasn’t right, so I went to get help. I was referred to see a specialist at the dental hospital, who told me I had cancer and that it was serious, and I needed to have an urgent MRI scan and biopsy.
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"A week later I was diagnosed with Stage 4 (palliative care) mouth cancer and the doctor told me I had a choice – to decide to have the operation within a month or die. He said I could have six months to live and maybe see Christmas. I had to quit smoking immediately."
The man was told the tumour was inside his cheekbone and had been there for at least "four years"; a team of surgeons then proceeded to operate on Sledden-Houston for over 15 hours, cutting his face in half and removing his cheekbone, eye and palate in order to get to the hefty tumour.
Part of his hip bone was used to replace the piece removed and reconstruct his face, resulting in a slight facial disfigurement as the nerves in his face were unfortunately damaged during surgery; Sledden-Houston is still unable to smile.
It took months for him to recover and he couldn’t talk or eat properly for half a year - but thanks to a facelift in October 2019, he has "much more confidence" and only a faint scar these days.
Sledden-Houston went on to say, “It looks like I’ve had a tiny stroke, but I have been incredibly lucky as not everyone makes it through," adding that he was also lucky to not have to undergo any radio or chemotherapy.
The 51-year-old has now been in remission for over three years and has "never felt better”. Since Friday is World Cancer Day, Phil is urging "everyone to give quitting a go before you end up like me.”
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