Stories

Josh's story

Josh's story

Josh, 17, was diagnosed when he was just eighteen months old with a low grade astrocytoma brain tumour and underwent immediate surgery.

The life-changing, long-term effects of a childhood brain tumour diagnosis are thrown into stark focus by his story.

Josh's mum, Wendy said: “Increasing awareness of the symptoms is vital, ourselves as parents, nursery staff, GP's and general paediatric doctors and nurses all missed Josh's signs and symptoms until it was at a critical point."

The profound side effects still disrupt and dominate life for Josh, his parents and his three siblings.

I fully support the HeadSmart campaign to increase peoples' knowledge of the early symptoms of brain tumour. I hope that it will help children get diagnosed early and reduce the long term complications from having a brain tumour.

- Josh

Wendy said: “ I considered Josh to be lucky, he was diagnosed in just 24 days from the first symptom that caused us concern, vomiting.

“It was only with hindsight that we realised that for weeks before, we had missed several other clues such as increased day time naps and a slight head tilt.

“However, as his symptoms increased it took two GP visits and two hospital admissions before his tumour was discovered by which time he had developed a life threatening hydrocephalus that required emergency surgery."

Josh temporarily lost his vision and when it returned he remained partially-sighted and he still lacks forward vision.

His parents bought safety goggles and taped over the parts that affect Josh's vision to help his friends understand how he sees the world now.

Josh said: “I hope it helps people appreciate that the disabilities children with brain tumours have often can't be seen and that it will increase awareness for the need for more research into brain tumours."