Northampton mum beat her cancer op anxiety... and is now ready to conquer the O2 Arena
A mum from Northampton who suffered anxiety following three serious operations is to embark on a year of fear-inducing challenges.
In the space of one year, Kat Mason underwent gall bladder surgery and two operations for thyroid cancer, the latter of which made her temporarily paralysed.
As a result, she was left with such severe anxiety that she sometimes feared for her life in everyday situations.
She said: "One time I was on a packed Northern Line train and someone simply placed a carrier bag on the floor and I just freaked.
"I thought there was going to be a terrorist attack, that I wouldn't see my husband or daughter again. I just couldn't stop these obsessive thoughts.
"I got off the tube and was okay again but I didn't get on another train for six months."
The anxiety arose from a traumatic post-operative experience in 2017.
Following a full removal of her thyroid, she suffered complications that saw her calcium levels drop dramatically, which caused temporary paralysis.
The trauma had a knock-on effect on her mental health that only surfaced months later, in the form of anxiety.
But having successfully undergone cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) she is feeling fine and ready to take on a trio of high-altitude challenges in 2019 - climbing the O2 Arena, abseiling down Northampton Lift Tower and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
She is raising money for the mental health charity Mind but also wants to achieve feats that will inspire her daughter Hannah, aged two, when she is older.
Kat said: "I want to do as much as I can to inspire her and show her this is what a real person is.
"I know from my nieces and nephews that such a lot of children look up to stars on the internet, but they're two-dimensional.
"I want them to have a role model who is a real person who achieves things but also has these challenges in their life they have overcome.
"I climbed these massive mental mountains, it's appropriate that I take on these three physical challenges."
To donate to Kat's fundraising effort, click here.