Nowra resident out to raise awareness and funds for the Brain Foundation

DEVASTATING: Twenty-two year old Luke Maguire from Nowra died suddenly last year from Hydrocephalus. His mother Nadine Maguire is organising a Singo Bingo night next month to raise funds for the Brain Foundation and encourage more men to be proactive about their health.

DEVASTATING: Twenty-two year old Luke Maguire from Nowra died suddenly last year from Hydrocephalus. His mother Nadine Maguire is organising a Singo Bingo night next month to raise funds for the Brain Foundation and encourage more men to be proactive about their health.

Luke Maguire was a fit and active 22-year-old whose only health concern was the migraines he’d suffered on and off for five years. 

The former Bomaderry High School student was doing a job he loved, working as a security guard at Stockland Shopping Centre, helped out with the Illaroo Scout Groups and Shoalhaven District Rovers, and enjoyed refereeing for the Shoalhaven District Soccer Association.

In September 2017 Luke’s mother Nadine Maguire became concerned when she found her son hadn’t turned up for work.

Nadine visited Luke’s Nowra home to check on him. Tragically, she found the 22-year-old’s body. 

An autopsy later revealed Luke died from Hydrocephalus, a condition that causes pressure build up in the brain, blocking off the part that controls the heart and breathing. 

It stemmed from an undiagnosed cyst, causing Luke’s migraines since the age of 17. 

His migraines had been getting worse in the few weeks before and I’d tried to get him to the doctor but this is a 22-year-old male who downplays things so it wasn’t easy.

Nadine Maguire

“It was a massive shock,” Nadine said. 

“His migraines had been getting worse in the few weeks before and I’d tried to get him to the doctor but this is a 22-year-old male who downplays things so it wasn’t easy.” 

Luke’s symptoms mimicked a typical migraine, making it difficult to diagnose the condition without medical attention. Tragically, an MRI would have been able to spot the tumor and an operation could have been performed to remove it or alleviate the pressure in the brain. 

While it’s too late for Luke, Nadine wants to raise funds for the Brain Foundation and encourage others, particularly men, to be more proactive in looking after their health. 

She will host a ‘Singo Bingo’ night on Saturday, February 10 at Nowra Golf Club from 6.30pm. There will also be games, silent auctions and prizes up for grabs. 

While some of the funds raised will also go towards helping Nadine with some of the costs associated with Luke’s death, Nadine said she’s most focused on being able to make a donation to the Brain Foundation. 

“They’re involved with research of a lot of different areas of the brain and I can specify where the donation goes,” she said. 

“The type of tumor that Luke had, only a half to one per cent is that type, so I’d like more research to be able to be done in that area.

LOVE: Nadine Maguire, pictured with son Luke, encouraged everyone to support the fundraising event on February 10.

LOVE: Nadine Maguire, pictured with son Luke, encouraged everyone to support the fundraising event on February 10.

“It’s my understanding that here hasn’t been a lot of breakthrough and survival rates for a long time, it’s uncharted territory.”

Nadine said the shock of the seemingly healthy 22-year-old’s sudden death has already jolted some of his family and friends into action. 

“I’ve got friends whose young adults suffer from migraines and it’s made them more aware,” Nadine said.

“One of them went to the local doctor and they said ‘we have heard of this and we are aware’ so it’s good to see that happening in the medical community too.” 

Nadine said everyone would be welcome at the upcoming fundraiser. 

“You don’t need to have known Luke to come along – it’s about supporting the Brain Foundation and getting people, especially males, to take more responsibility for their own health,” she said.  

Tickets are $15 each and can be bought from Nadine via 0425 985 562 or email nadine_maguire@yahoo.com.au. Tickets to be purchased by Tuesday, February 6 at the latest. 

They can also be bought from Deb’s Affordable Products or Guild Hall Games, both in Bomaderry Plaza.

While it is preferable to buy tickets beforehand, they can also be bought on the night. 

This story Luke tragically dismissed the migraines he’d suffered for five years first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.