In November 2014, Darcey, then six-years-old, began suffering from prolonged headaches.
After being ill for a week with a headache, Darcey's mum, Chrissy, took her to the doctors. The GP prescribed Darcey migraine tablets, but almost a week later things still hadn't improved. Darcey was crying in pain from her headaches, so, Chrissy and husband Ian took Darcey to Barnsley Hospital.
The hospital ran some tests, but the doctors were still putting it down to a virus or migraines and suggested she had her eyes tested.
At the opticians the next day, Chrissy received a HeadSmart symptoms card.
“I couldn't believe it when I saw she had every single symptom bar one – epilepsy." said Chrissy.
They immediately took Darcey to Sheffield Children's Hospital, where an MRI scan revealed an orange-sized brain tumour. She had emergency surgery to drain fluid from her brain and later, had an operation to remove the tumour.
“We were told that without surgery, she would have died within a week. It felt surreal, like it was happening to someone else. I just wanted to break down – but didn't want Darcey to see me crying." said Chrissy.
I have no doubt whatsoever that if I hadn’t seen the HeadSmart card, my little girl wouldn’t be here today – it saved her life. We know from our own experience how important it is for doctors and parents to recognise when a child may have a brain tumour. Now I’m backing the campaign because I want to save other families going through the same nightmare of nearly losing their child.- Chrissy, Darcey's mum
Darcey was home in time to enjoy Christmas with her family and despite having to have scans every six months, is now doing well.
“I can't thank The Brain Tumour Charity and the optician enough – that little HeadSmart card saved Darcey's life."