An ice cream man’s life-long dream to travel to Brazil has been shattered by a shock brain tumour diagnosis.
Paul Atkinson, from Fulwood, Preston, was due to jet off three weeks ago for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to watch the World Cup in South America.
After a whirlwind few months the 55-year-old father of three’s world was turned upside down in May after a brain scan revealed a tumour.
In February Paul’s vision faltered and he was urged to go to A&E by his girlfriend Carla Hodgson and had to postpone his five-week trip.
Now the Tottenham Hotspur fan is preparing for make-or-break news that could save his dream.
He said: “I’ve got a meeting with the neurosurgeon lined up, if it is good news I’m going to Rio and if it is bad news I’m going to Rio – life is too short.
“I was watching football in the pub and I started getting double vision, at first I thought it was the impact of too many beers the night before.
“But I rang my girlfriend, who is an ex nurse and she told me I had to go to A&E.”
Since that hospital visit in February, Paul, who saved up £5,500 for the holiday, has been diagnosed with a Pituitary gland tumour and is hoping to fly out for the last two weeks if the tournament on Wednesday.
He said: “I will find out today if it has grown and how they are going to treat it. They could turn around and say we will have to operate in the next two weeks or I might be able to take tablets or need chemo.
“I’ve been saving up for well over a year, I travel a lot but I’ve never been to South America – it’s a dream to go to Brazil, we might have invented the game but it is the home of football.
“After the trip to hospital I finally went to see a consultant three or four weeks ago.
“I went to Magaluf in Spain, came back and they called me in. The consultant said we were looking for a suspected mini stroke but instead they found I have a brain tumour the size of a peanut.
“I don’t want to tempt fate but I’m hoping to be on a plane on Wednesday. I’m lucky that I took my girlfriend’s advice because it could have gone unnoticed, growing for years.”