Tom Heerschop: One life, live it!

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How a tumor in your brain changes your life: Brutal, endless and irrevocable.

Today for the very first time Tom Heerschop tells his story. How a regular wonder boy, an artist pur sang, loved by everyone became a psychiatric wreck out of the blue. And how he and his wife and children had managed to build up a new life in a totally different way than before. As if you had to learn to walk again for the first time since long, understood.

He was the top of the bill. Ready to become the greatest artist since Leonardo Da Vinci. Ambitious. He met his wife Ruth, the love of his life. She gave up smoking for him, and he became a vegetarian for her. Then gradually everything changed. He became stressed. He started to hit his wife. And violence became a habit, as if his life was not his anymore. He, supported by his wife, started several psychological therapies: drinking disgusting healing teas and passed through many relation therapies. It did not help. He was marked as a psychiatric patient. Destroying lives. Destroying everything that he loved. In the meantime, his art became violent. His work gushed out of his hands like there was no tomorrow. No one understood him.

At the end of those ten violent years, not long after the 6th birthday of his second son, he begged his neurologist to make a scan.

And it revealed that all that time, more than 10 years, it was a devastating tumor as a big as a potato in his brain. And he was relieved. He was no psychiatric and mental patient, he was severally ill! He was successfully operated on and treated. He felt as if he was born again. However, the violence continued, due to the operation and treatment. And he was unhappy. He worked as a slave in his own goldmine. He was a violent dad and husband. He even promised someday to murder his family to be at peace.

After this devastating and lonely period searching for help, his wife took him to a brain expert. And in 8 minutes it was clear that he suffered from FLS, frontal lobe syndrome. And he immediately was admitted to the healing program. And for the first time after 15 years he felt safe. He was taught to look at himself at a helicopter point of view. And was taught how to slow down.

As my brave cousin Jack Manten, a Young Adult of 25 years (AYA) from South Africa, suffering and healing from cancer, taught me recently: one life, live it!

Tom realized that he was lucky after all; more than one thousand patients are not. Let the brave story of Tom help these people!

A live blog by Eveliene Manten-Horst