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WATCH: Brave Inverness tanker driver battling brain cancer speaks about determination to survive

By Annabelle Gauntlett

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Steven Fry was diagnosed with life-threatening brain cancer this year
Steven Fry was diagnosed with life-threatening brain cancer this year

A former lorry driver who crashed into empty shop premises in Beauly in 2021 after a seizure later found to be caused by the presence of a malignant brain tumour has been reflecting on his life since – as an appeal is launched to secure him life-saving treatment.

Steven Fry's lorry crashed into an empty shop premises in Beauly in 2021, after he suffered a seizure at the wheel. Picture: Emily Purvis
Steven Fry's lorry crashed into an empty shop premises in Beauly in 2021, after he suffered a seizure at the wheel. Picture: Emily Purvis

Steven Fry (32), from Inverness, crashed his lorry into empty shop premises in the centre of Beauly in September 2021 and had to be airlifted to Raigmore Hospital.

It was later confirmed that he had suffered a seizure brought on by the presence of a previously undiagnosed tumour.

Talking exclusively to the Courier about the day of the accident and his life since he said: "I was still training to be a lorry driver and I asked my passenger, whose lorry it was, to drive because I didn't feel well, so I jumped in the motor.

"The last thing I remember was passing the primary school and seeing all the kids out playing; after that I woke up in the lorry with a cyclist holding my roof open.

"In that moment I was just happy to have survived."

Steven, Chloe and Piper on holiday
Steven, Chloe and Piper on holiday

Steven's wife, Chloe (29) said: "I was working from home when I got a phone call from an unknown number. The person on the phone told me that my husband had crashed his lorry into a shop. The rest is a blur.

"I remember our neighbours took me to the hospital where I saw him get wheeled in by the ambulance and that's when he got taken for a scan and told me he had a brain tumour.

"When Steven told me I didn't believe it at first, so the doctors had to come and tell me that he actually did.

"From then on I just went into autopilot. I was so scared, I just thought he was going to die."

Chloe and Steven Fry
Chloe and Steven Fry

Steven had been suffering a range of symptoms for almost 18 months prior to the accident in Beauly, including headaches, numbness on the right side of his body and a strange aluminium taste in his mouth, and was actually booked in for an MRI scan before the drama unfolded.

He said: "It is annoying because if I'd had that sooner then I could have still been working and driving."

Steven and his daughter Piper
Steven and his daughter Piper

Chloe added: "In hindsight, now that we know about the tumour, everything that he was experiencing was on the cards to look out for with a brain tumour, so it is annoying but I think it's something you don't know until it happens to you and now it seems so obvious."

Since his accident, Steven has found it challenging relearning day-to-day activities, like walking, but has refused to be beaten.

He said: "I was originally told by a doctor that I probably wouldn't walk again, but I was determined."

Chloe gave birth to daughter Piper just two weeks after Steven was released from hospital, in December 2021, and he said: "Having my daughter definitely pushed me on as I wanted to be able to do all the things a father should be able to do.

"The plan was always to fight and push for my wee one, wife and mum."

Sadly the family's struggles are not over yet as Steven has now been diagnosed with brain cancer which could leave him facing death by the time he is in his early 40s.

Distraught by this news, the family has now launched a crowdfunding appeal in a bid to raise £50,000 for potentially life-saving treatment not yet available on the NHS.

Chloe and Piper together
Chloe and Piper together

Steven's sister in law, Hayley Anderson, said: "Although he is still relearning many life skills, Steven dedicates time to helping others by volunteering on the hospital ward where his life was saved in 2021.

"He supports others who receive a cancer diagnosis and with similar frightening prognoses.

"Steven is currently undergoing chemotherapy in a bid to prolong his life as much as possible, but the tumour is inoperable, meaning that his time with his family is devastatingly limited.

"Unfortunately the side effects of chemotherapy are also damaging for him.

"Steven’s only option and hope of life with Chloe and Piper is a type of immunotherapy that is not available on the NHS."

Chloe and Piper together
Chloe and Piper together

Talking in more detail about the type of treatment he hopes to undergo she said: "Cell-based Immunotherapy can be the last hope for many cancer patients who have an inoperable tumour and terminal diagnosis.

"However, it can also be the first and last treatment needed for all cancer patients.

"In the UK it costs around £50,000 and following an initial consultation with a team of specialists he has been informed that he is a suitable candidate and the chances of it being successful are high.

"This has been the news Steven and his wife have been hoping for since 2021.

"Please support Steven and help give hope to his family as their world has been crushed at the thought of losing him."

Find out more and donate here.

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