Google boss, 33, bed-bound at 37kg after ‘broken arm’ turned out to be brain cancer

A 33-year-old Google worker whose broken arm was failing to heal found out he had brain cancer that has left him bedbound for months.

James McGill’s weight ended up dropping to just 37kg – and he fought back after doctors gave him 24-48 hours to live back in May.

The Senior Account Manager, who works in Dublin in Google’s media team, said he broke his arm a couple of years ago but it never seemed to heal properly.

Then in December he started to lose power in his left leg and found himself tripping up a lot.

Soon after, James lost the ability to swallow or drink.

James went into hospital in January and after an MRI, he learned the devastating news that he has lymphoma in his brain.

But he continues to fight and is determined to be home for Christmas.
James went into hospital in January (Image: James McGill)

James’ friends have set up a gofundme page for him, hoping to raise £100k for the renovations needed to make his house livable for his condition.

Telling his story, James said: “I broke my arm a couple of years ago, but it never seemed to heal properly.

“I slowly started to lose movement in it so went to see a few consultants, but they didn’t really have an answer.

“Last December I slowly started to lose power in my left leg and found myself tripping up a lot. So I booked myself in for an MRI scan and they found a lesion on my brain.
An MRI found a lesion on his brain (Image: James McGill)
He lost the ability to swallow or drink (Image: James McGill)

“When I heard the results I was at my parents’ house. I took the call and just broke down in my dad’s arms when I told him what it was.

“It wasn’t long after that when I lost the ability to swallow or drink.

“They did an operation to find out what it was, and it turned out to be lymphoma. I’ve been bed-bound ever since.”

Due to lockdown, James has not been able to have any visitors apart from his parents.
The Senior Account Manager works in Dublin in Google’s media team (Image: James McGill)
He wants to be home for Christmas (Image: James McGill)

He said: “I couldn’t even tell them in person because they weren’t allowed in that day. I had to tell them on FaceTime.

“By May I was drastically underweight – I had gone from 60kg to 37kg in the space of a few months.

“At one point the doctors said I had 24 hours to live – but I didn’t know anything about it. I was hallucinating that I was having dinner with Kim Kardashian in London.

“Somehow I managed to pull through, and I think I’m slowly getting a bit better.

“I had multiple rounds of chemo which was a huge battle on the body and mind. Each time I fought hard. The medical team here in Beaumont have been amazing.
He lost weight in just a few months (Image: James McGill)

“I now want to get home for Christmas. That’s the target. After where I was, it would mean everything if I could do it.

“The house needs loads of adjustments to make it livable. I’ll need hoists on the ceiling, extensions downstairs, it’ll be a lot of work.

“My friends set up the GoFundMe to get me some presents because they knew I was miserable and I had told them I didn’t like the hospital towels.
James says at one point he was hallucinating (Image: James McGill)

“It’s overwhelming to see how much money has been raised so far. It’s really given me a boost over the past few days because it shows how many people are in my corner.”

The fundraising page set up for James says: “I don’t think any of us have ever seen anyone fight as hard as James does every day.

“He was given 24-48 hours to live back in May and since then he has defied all odds that have been put against him and is focused on one goal, getting out of that hospital bed and going home for Christmas with his family.”