Baby boy diagnosed with brain tumour after GP dismissed mum 18 times
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A concerned mum who was repeatedly dismissed as a ‘nervous first-time' parent when she took her young son to the GP was later told he had a brain tumour.
However, she was told her worries were caused by the fact she was a new mum and was even prescribed medication for anxiety.
She said: “Oscar had a dramatic start to life, being born six weeks early by caesarean section, but he was generally a happy baby.
“Sadly, things changed very quickly when he was about seven months old. He became irritable and would cry non-stop.
"His head was swollen, his eyes were bulging and he was vomiting.”
Despite being told she was worrying over nothing, Tessa refused to have her concerns brushed under the carpet and, after being sent away from the GP one final time, she took him to A&E.
And within 30 minutes of arriving at James Paget University Hospital, in Norfolk, eight-month-old Oscar was diagnosed with a grade 2 choroid plexus papilloma and a build-up of excess brain fluid, known as hydrocephalus.
He was rushed to another hospital for treatment, with his first operation lasting 12 hours.
Now five, Oscar has undergone 11 brain surgeries but he has been left with permanent brain damage.
He also suffers autism, global developmental delay and decreased muscle tone known as hypotonia.
Thankfully, Oscar’s now exceeding all expectations.
"I left hospital a single mum with a very poorly child and no real support, but there was no running away from it.
"We just had to learn to adapt and I’m glad to say that Oscar keeps proving everyone wrong.
“He couldn’t crawl because his muscles weren’t strong enough to hold himself up, but physical therapy has made all the difference and now you wouldn’t know that had been an issue.
“He was also non-verbal for a long time, but he’s had speech and language therapy and seven months ago he started developing words.
"He’s a little chatterbox now – what he says doesn’t make sense but it’s fantastic to hear him.”
Tessa is working with charity Brain Tumour Research to share her story during Brain Tumour Awareness Month.
Tessa said: “The four months Oscar spent on a children’s cancer ward opened my eyes to this disease and made me want to do all I can to raise awareness of it.
"The fact there’s still no cure for it amazes me and it’s so wrong that treatments for brain tumours haven’t changed in years.
“I’m keen for more people to understand brain tumours and their symptoms, including medical professionals, and I want to empower parents to trust their instincts.
"If, like me, you believe there’s something wrong with your child, don’t give up – you know them best and you know if they’re not themselves.”