Julie Cunningham, a mother of four from Texas, had no idea she had a brain tumor until she was recently arrested under suspicion of DUI.
On July 31, she crashed her car after dropping her kids off at day care, WFAA reported. When Frisco police arrived, they arrested her under suspicion of driving under the influence.
However, police acknowledged that Cunningham’s breathalyzer test recorded a 0.0, and her mother insisted that Cunningham never drinks.
“My daughter is not a drinker. She doesn't take any sort of meds. So that was so out of character that we knew instantly that couldn't be what it was,” said Linda Halvorson, according to WFAA.
After Cunningham spent a night in jail, her brother picked her up. Cunningham had no recollection of what happened, and her speech was still slurred.
“[Cunningham's brother] and his wife knew instantly that something was very, very wrong,” Halvorson said.
Examinations at a local hospital revealed a lemon-sized tumor on Cunningham’s brain, which was quickly operated upon and removed.
Halvorson confirmed that the tumor was not cancerous, but some abnormal cells were identified.
“[Cunningham] doesn't remember the accident; she doesn't remember the police being involved; she doesn't remember being in jail... which is OK,” added Halvorson. “It's one piece of trauma she doesn't need to be thinking about.”
Cunningham could reportedly be able to leave hospital by the end of the week.
“She's a tough girl. I just wanna bring her home soon,” said Halvorson.
Cunningham has raised four children, and friends spoke positively about her.
“Something like this happening to somebody who so doesn't deserve it,” David Harris said. “If you ever met Julie, you'd never ask why everyone is fighting for her.”
A police spokesman confirmed that no DUI charge has been filed against Cunningham.
“It's an interesting way to find out about a brain tumor,” Halvorson added.
Nearly 70,000 new cases of primary brain tumors -- tumors that start in the brain and usually stay there -- are diagnosed yearly, according to the American Brain Tumor Association. They can happen to anyone, but are more common in children and older adults.
Photo credit: WFAA