Stalwart shows his fighting qualities

Battle: Coun Jim Owen, left, is having treatment for a brain tumour. Right, fellow ward councillor Dave Watts
Battle: Coun Jim Owen, left, is having treatment for a brain tumour. Right, fellow ward councillor Dave Watts

A South Ribble councillor has completed his first round of treatment to battle a brain tumour.

Coun Jim Owen, who represents the Bamber Bridge East ward, was found to have a growth on the stem of his brain last month.

He has remained in Royal Preston Hospital where family and friends have been keeping watch by his side.

Speaking from their home in Stockdale Crescent, Joan, his wife of almost 53 years, said: “Jim has had 10 lots of therapy over 10 days which has all finished now.

“Sometimes he is as perky as anything and other times he is tired. I think the treatment took it out of him a bit. We now have to wait to see what the doctors say next.”

Jim was Mayor of South Ribble in 1998 and still carried out much of his council duties until he was taken seriously ill.

He first knew something was wrong when his vision started to blur and he started to suffer from sickness.

Jim was initially expected to undergo surgery, but doctors decided the safest option was to carry out radiotherapy to shrink the growth.

They will now take a decision on where to take his treatment in the coming weeks.

Wife Joan says his spirits are kept high by messages from well-wishers and visits from friends.

She said: “Lots of people have asked how he is and some friends have been to see him.

“Me and his daughter go and see him most days and do the crossword from the newspaper with him. He goes to buy a paper every day so he must be reading a bit. That was a frustrating thing for him - he was getting bored.

“I do miss him at home but with his council business he was always at a meeting or going to help someone.”

Coun Dave Watts, who sits with Jim on the Bamber Bridge East ward at South Ribble Borough Council, said: “Jim is nearer the door now, so he’s not too bad.

“I’ve been to see him a few times and he has still got his wry sense of humour.

“He said the doctors had taken him in for a brain scan - and thankfully found he had one. Those were his words.

“Jim had a course of radiotherapy and as far as I know that has gone well and we will see where things go from here.”