Daniel's story

Daniel's story

Rosalind and Colin share their son, Daniel's story.

Daniel, now six, had emergency surgery to remove a fist-sized brain tumour in June 2014, after his mum recognised the symptoms a friend had posted on Facebook, including vomiting, lethargy and losing his balance.

Up until the Easter holidays in 2014, Daniel was a typical mischievous, happy three-year-old boy.

Rosalind said: “When he became grumpy and started throwing tantrums, I put it down to it being a typical toddler phase."

Then Daniel became very tired – resuming his afternoon naps - and was always falling over and bumping into things.

During that May half-term on holiday in Northumberland, Daniel was increasingly lethargic. On the last day, he got sick about an hour after waking up.

Over the next few weeks, he was sick a few more times and one morning he woke up with a headache.

Alarm bells started ringing.

That's when the HeadSmart symptoms card I'd seen on my friend's Facebook post flashed into my mind. They were Daniel's symptoms exactly.

- Rosie, Daniel's mum

Rosie saw a GP who thought it may be hay fever as Daniel had been rubbing his eyes, and prescribed antihistamines.

Daniel was sick a few more times over the next few days. She saw another GP who referred her for an urgent scan, and told her to come back if she hadn't heard from the hospital within two days.

But next morning, Daniel could hardly move and was vomiting, so the couple took him to the children's A & E at Ormskirk Hospital, Lancashire.

He had a CT scan and they were told he had a “mass" which was causing fluid to build up in his brain. Seven-months pregnant Rosalind was blue lighted in an ambulance with him to Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool, while husband Colin, 37, followed in his car.

That afternoon, Daniel had a three-hour operation to insert a drain to relieve the pressure on his brain and an MRI scan.

Rosie said: “Our consultant showed us the scan, which confirmed my worst fears.

“Daniel had a brain tumour and it was the size of an adult fist. It had probably been growing for years.

“If I had not seen the HeadSmart symptoms card, I would not have recognised the symptoms as they can so easily be confused with other things."

Next morning, Daniel had a nine-hour operation to remove the tumour.

Rosalind said: “It seemed like an eternity. We veered between fear he wouldn't make it through surgery and that, if he did, the Daniel who woke up wouldn't be the Daniel we knew.

“At last we got the call to say he was in recovery. As we walked into the room, he was yelling at the top of his voice “Get off me!" Relief flooded through me. 'That's my cheeky, bossy boy!' I thought."

Daniel was in intensive care for four days and back home just 10 days after his diagnosis.

Biopsy tests showed the tumour was a grade one (benign) pilocytic astrocytoma.

Now Stars Wars-mad Daniel, who goes to St Michael's primary school,Aughton, is his usual boisterous self at home, with sisters Layla, seven, and Seren, two.

After scans every six months, the family are now pleased to say that Daniel has been given the all-clear and no longer has to have scans.