01:07PM, Thursday 16 June 2022
A hairdresser who was given just a one per cent chance to live has opened a new salon in Burnham after wanting to waste no more time in getting on with living her dream.
In 2016 Jess Inglis showed signs of suffering from a teratoma, a rare type of tumour that grew close to her heart.
Pregnant at the time with her first child, a surge of hormones stimulated a regrowth in the dormant tumour – thought to be cells from an unbirthed ‘twin’ that had laid dormant all of her life – putting Jess’ body under enormous strain.
Normally, teratomas grow in the womb and Jess’ case – a growth in an artery close to the heart - was extremely rare.
“When I fell pregnant with Charlie I started to notice that things ‘weren’t quite right’ and I started to feel really unwell very quickly,” she said.
The sickness, which Jess attributed to normal pregnancy symptoms, continued throughout her pregnancy.
Baby Charlie was born in October that year but by January, Jess was on the operating table at Harefield Hospital in Uxbridge, where they specialise in small incision surgery.
“One minute I was a normal mum with a young baby and the next I was having my chest operated on. It was really scary,” Jess said.
After an 18-hour surgery to remove the growth Jess fell into a coma. Luckily she came around but the recovery period was long, giving Jess time for reflection.
She said: “I spent six weeks in hospital. They were absolutely fantastic and helped me loads.
“It was during that time that I realised that life is too short and I said to myself that when I’m well again I’m going to do what I always wanted to do and open up a salon.”
Jess’ dream has now turned into reality and she says she owes her life, recovery and future to her two daughters.
“When I look back on it all I can’t believe that it happened, that it happened to me. It’s crazy. But if I wasn’t pregnant I wouldn’t have known anything about the teratoma and it would have caused major damage at some point. The doctors told me that it was too close to my heart and that I was lucky to be alive.
“So in reality my daughter saved my life.”
Now the proud mum of two daughters (Jess gave birth to a second daughter, Ellie, five years later) Jess says she owes everything to her two girls and that’s why her new venture is dedicated to them.
She said: “I’m doing this for them. That’s why the salon is called Charllie’s as it’s named after them both: Charlie and Ellie.”
The official opening of the Anslow Place salon is on Monday. Jess and her team of hairdressers will ‘cover everything from trims and cuts to full wedding hair’.
“I’m really pleased with how it’s all come together. I’ve got all new interiors and a team of hairdressers ready to go. It’s a lovely area. People have popped in to say hi and even stay for coffee.
“It’s bringing the neighbourhood together, giving them somewhere to meet. I don’t mind that at all and I look forward to seeing more locals here.”
Visitors to Burnham Park Hall on Monday May 16 can undergo a ‘living with dementia experience’ as part of National Dementia Action Week.