‘Like most parents that go through this sort of experience, we had no idea that Elizabeth had anything wrong with her, especially not a brain tumour. Effectively we went from having no problems to the prospect of losing our nine year-old daughter to a hidden condition in a matter of hours.
My wife took Elizabeth for a routine eye test on a Wednesday afternoon. During the appointment, the optician noticed an increase of pressure in her eyes and acted on this by raising an urgent referral to the hospital for the Thursday morning. The ophthalmologist at the hospital then ordered an MRI (which was done on the Friday morning) and that’s when the tumour was discovered.
Elizabeth was taken by ambulance to the Bristol Children’s hospital where she underwent an emergency operation on Friday night to relieve the pressure in her head as the tumour had crushed the fourth ventricle. This was followed by a fourteen-hour stint in surgery on the Monday to remove the tumour itself. This operation was extremely successful, resulting in Elizabeth avoiding ALL the negative outcomes the surgeon had discussed with us prior to the operation.
The support given by Evie’s Gift was unexpected and, on looking back, so very valuable as all of a sudden, we didn’t have to worry about where one of us was going to stay overnight. I found it difficult to accept help at the time, not just because we are a vehemently independent family but also because I was in a state of shock and confusion.
However, the day that my wife and I spent in a hotel room while Elizabeth was being operated on allowed us to comfort one another outside the hospital and prepare for what might be awaiting us when we returned, which was so important.
Elizabeth spent a further week in hospital and was discharged on the following Wednesday. Since being back at home she has made fantastic progress and now has only a slight sensation issue in her right leg which is probably more to do with the cannula that was in her groin area than the tumour. She plans to return to school in the new year but with no contact or ball sports for a year.
The prognosis for Elizabeth is extremely good, with no further medication or surgical treatment required. She will have to have an MRI scan every six months for ten years but that is a small price to pay considering what could have been. Many thanks for the support Evie’s Gift provided us.’
John Mews (Elizabeth’s Dad)