A young father of two who was diagnosed with a brain tumour just prior to the coronavirus lockdown is encouraging people to make the most of their family time.

Sam Suriakumar, a self-employed recruitment consultant and part-time musician, was taken ill with a grand mal seizure on a tube train as he returned to his home in Worcester Park, Surrey.

Rescued by a stranger and taken to hospital, he underwent a number of tests and was diagnosed with a glioma. He is now awaiting further information about whether he will need a biopsy and possibly chemotherapy.

The 33-year-old is working with the charity Brain Tumour Research to share his story and hopes to raise awareness of the disease which is the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under the age of 40.

Sam, who is home schooling the couple’s daughters Avaana, five, and Arya, three, while his wife Sindhu continues her work as an NHS GP, said: “When I was first told I had a brain tumour my biggest fear was that I would not get to spend time with my wife and our two precious daughters; they are my whole world.

"Now, during the lockdown, I have all the time in the world and I feel this is a gift and I am doing my utmost to make the best of it.

"I am being a full-time dad, teaching the girls their lessons and baking banana bread!”

Sam says his diagnosis has brought him closer to his family and to God and it has helped him to identify the things in life which are most important to him. He hopes the current restrictions to our lives will help other people find a similar focus.

“When I first heard the world ‘brain tumour’ it felt like life had stopped and I was in a dark tunnel with no light. I couldn’t speak, hear or understand what was going on.

"To be honest, I am still trying to digest it and, as terrifying as things are, it will not defeat me. But now I feel as if the darkness was there because I had shut my eyes in an attempt to make things go away.

"When I was able to open my eyes, I saw so much more light and love that I wasn’t able to appreciate before.

“Life looks more beautiful already; I am now living my best life and suddenly menial things are just irrelevant. My fight has begun and I am ready, every second of every day. Make no mistake, with God by my side, I feel as if I have already won.

“We can’t thank people enough for showering us with so much love, support and prayers. The difference which can be made by showing kindness, giving people your time and telling them you care is enormous.

"I don’t want to lecture or preach but I do hope I can inspire people to love the moment and make it count because tomorrow is always a gift and not a guarantee whilst today is yours to own and control.”

Sam does not yet know what impact the coronavirus might have on any future treatment. He has thanked his friends and family for showering them with “love, support and prayers” and the tremendous response to his JustGiving page which has raised nearly £8,000 for Brain Tumour Research in little more than a month.

Hugh Adams, spokesman for the charity, said: “Sam’s story is very inspiring and I am sure people will be bowled over by his positivity and wish to help others.

"Sadly, he is not alone as some 16,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour every year and, despite the fact they kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.”