It was a frightening time for Sharon McLean when she was told she needed surgery to remove a benign tumour from her lung.
The Billingham mum needed to remain active to enable her to care for her two young children but she also needed the tumour removing to prevent it developing into anything more serious.
Sharon, 43, was referred to cardiothoracic consultant Joel Dunning and when he told her that James Cook was about to start offering a new keyhole procedure for the surgery she needed she jumped at the chance to be the first of his patients to benefit from it.
“It was very exciting to be the first,” said Sharon. “I knew I was in good hands.”
Sharon had the VATS lobectomy and just three days later she was back at home with her family.
She said: “I’ve never smoked and I don’t drink so it was a bit frightening when I was told I had a benign tumour that needed removing but it was just one of those things. I felt much better when Mr Dunning told me I could have the VATS lobectomy.
“I did look on the internet to see how long it had taken other patients to recover from more traditional surgery and I think I have got off lightly!”