A Scots teen footballer discovered he had a brain tumour after being left ‘dizzy’ from a head knock during a game. Kyle McPherson, from Edinburgh, was hit by the ball during a match in May 2021 and initially felt fine despite the head blow.
But the now 17-year-old began to feel dizzy and had distorted vision as he tried to take a penalty before being pulled off the pitch by worried coaches. He was rushed to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh to be checked over for a concussion when brain scans picked up symptoms unrelated to the injury.
Later that night, the then 16-year-old was given the terrifying news that he had a brain tumour. He told Edinburgh Live: “I went to get the ball back during a game and got hit in the head with it. I played on, as I was fine and the coaches and physios had no doubts about me.
“But it came to the penalty shoot-out and I started to feel dizzy. The goal in front became distant and I couldn't stand up straight. One of the boys said, 'Kyle, you're next' and my best mate was like, 'No he's not.
“He can't even see.' I got out of the Astro and was apparently en route to the hospital just to check off the concussion. On assessment, they sent me for a scan, waited for a while and then they sent me for another.
“Finally after another wait, a nurse came through and basically said that something had been picked up by the scans. By the end of this night, it was clear that I had a benign brain tumour.
“If I didn't get hit though, I wouldn't have gone up to check for a concussion and wouldn't have found the tumour. It was already there, but I had no symptoms."
He continued: “I had the injury in May 2021 then the operation on June 30 and was back at work on July 14. The guys at my work were absolutely class and treated me like normal and even made light of it which is what I'd want.
“People at school were great as well, just carried on and pretended like what was happening - wasn't and my teachers were great too. Despite it being during exam time they just carried on but always allowed me extra time for things."
The brave teen, who works for Heart of Midlothian Football Club, battled on to complete end-of-year school tests despite going through the huge procedure just months before. He explained: "I sat them throughout that May period.
“At the time, there weren't exams - instead just assessments which were basically the same thing. I just wanted to carry on as normal, so I just did them all.
"I went back to training non-contactless pretty soon under advice and then scored on the comeback. Now I play 20s football at Edinburgh United paired with my job at Hearts."
Luckily, the resilient young footballer is now on the road to recovery. Kyle is now taking on the Edinburgh Marathon in May 2023 and is raising money for Brain Tumour Research to help others who have gone through similar things.
You can find out more and donate to the fundraiser here.
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