According to a story from dailypost.co.uk, it didn’t take long for Catherine Kelly to determine that her three year old son had a brain tumor; in fact, she made the prediction way before the doctors did. As it turned out, she was right. Her son had medulloblastoma, a brain cancer that most often appears in young children. Catherine and her husband Shaun began to notice that little Edward was having problems in the summer of 2018. He was constantly off balance and bumping into things, and he couldn’t make it down the stairs normally.
Medulloblastoma is a brain cancer that is generally considered rare; however, it is the most common type of cancer to originate in the brain in kids. This tumor frequently appears in the lower rear region of the skull. Medulloblastoma tumors can grow rapidly and are also capable of spreading via the cerebrospinal fluid, a characteristic not found in most brain cancers. The direct cause of the cancer remains unclear, but certain genetic mutations appear to be risk factors; this disease is also associated with Turcot syndrome and Gorlin syndrome. Symptoms include falling, stumbling gait and general loss of coordination, vomiting, headaches in the morning, optic disc swelling, and ataxia. Treatment for medulloblastoma often includes surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Treatment may result in serious adverse effects. Five year survival rate is around 69 percent. To learn more about medulloblastoma, click here.
Edward’s little sister Edith was soon surpassing him developmentally. Catherine set up an MRI scan for her son that November, even though the doctors did not suspect a tumor. The scan revealed a large tumor in the center of his brain. The boy was immediately rushed to the hospital and the next day he underwent a twelve hour surgery to remove the tumor. The surgeons said that the operation was able to remove 98 percent of the cancer tissue.
Edward’s ordeal was not over. He suffered from seizures and hydrocephalus and had to get chemo to eradicate the rest of the cancer. The boy was truly fighting to survive when he got sepsis. He continued to receive treatment for the next seven months and underwent a stem cell transplant that helped restore his immune system.
The rush of powerful treatments meant that the boy had to learn how to walk and talk again, but overall Edward’s recovery has been remarkable, and he is now back home with his family. It is likely that Catherine’s motherly instincts helped save his life.