A headache which turned out to be a mind tumour has left a seven-year-old woman from South London combating for her life and skill to stroll. Single mum and hairdresser Florence Otudeko, 34, from Wallington, stated life was “all nice and fine” earlier than final summer time when she seen her daughter Eva was having complications and her head was tilting. She additionally abruptly wanted glasses regardless of no historical past of eye issues or another sickness.
Florence first took Eva to the GP in July 2021, however claimed “they seemed kind of reluctant to get her any further help”. They agreed to refer her to the hospital, however Florence stated she since discovered they didn’t quick observe her as promised. In this era of ready Florence seen her “deterioration” and stated Eva “could barely walk”.
Then the telephone name got here. In mid September Florence was rung by Eva’s faculty to say she was screaming “my head hurts”. She took Eva residence they usually went to Croydon Hospital A&E the place they gave her a CT scan. At the exact same hospital she suffered one other lifechanging trauma, Florence was given the information her daughter had a life threatening mind tumour.
“I was in shock and dismay,” she stated. “I called the rest of my family and everyone came to the hospital”. Doctors moved shortly, placing Eva on dexamethasone to scale back her mind swelling earlier than transferring her to St George’s in Tooting for an emergency operation. “By the time she had the planned appointment she was having brain surgery,” added Florence.
The 11 hour craniotomy was dangerous however proved profitable, eradicating a lot of the tumour not near her mind stem. Such an enormous surgical procedure – which entails eradicating a flap of pores and skin and a part of the cranium to entry the mind – saved Eva’s life nevertheless it got here at a price. She suffered a blood clot, a number of seizures, and partial paralysis with slowed speech.
Worse information arrived with biopsy outcomes displaying it was most cancers. Eva’s analysis was an Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumour (ATRT) – a stage 4 most cancers with a 32.2 per cent survival charge. She was finally wheeled out of hospital and Florence needed to transfer from their flat to her mum’s home.
Since her operation Eva needed to study to stroll once more and retrain her mind, whereas having fixed scans to watch her most cancers. Sadly the illness made a return simply after her seventh birthday when the complications returned. An MRI confirmed she had hydrocephalus – a construct up of fluid on the mind – and the tumour had begun to regrow.
“She’s really aware of it,” Florence stated. “She said ‘Hurry up and do my brain surgery so I can go to a party’. She’s wise beyond her years.”
Despite her consciousness, Eva nonetheless would not know her sickness is life threatening however she does clarify to individuals she will’t run anymore due to it. Eva’s drain on her ventricle additionally means “she can’t just stand outside in a queue” anymore – as a substitute getting particular transport or choose up out the best way of different youngsters.
Her sickness has additionally affected her brother Esra, 10, who should have had “a shock to the system” in accordance with his mum. “He’s a boisterous boy so I do tell him to be careful with her, but he wants to help as much as he can.” Sadly it means no extra trampolining or swimming.
With 9 rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy to do on the Royal Marsden in Fulham, Florence says she’s “taking every day as it comes”. Describing Eva, she stated: “Everyone who meets her always remembers her, she’s just a lovely little spirit child. The way she has dealt with things has been miraculous. She’s a really lovely little girl just the light of my life. I really pray everything will be okay. It’s too much for any child to go through. I hope after this treatment she will be lucky enough to be in the 20% and live the rest of her life. She’s been so strong.”
For Florence the ache of coping with her daughter’s most cancers has introduced sudden difficulties too. It took her “40 page applications” and waited months to getting Carer’s Allowance and Disability Living Allowance. It has been nearly unimaginable to work whereas being caught in hospital and caring for Eva 24/7. She additionally would not why leaving her automobile within the hospital carpark “costs a fortune”.
Right now Eva is simply receiving 45 minutes of physio each fortnight. She’s making progress however Florence needs to provide her the perfect likelihood of operating once more. She stated: “She was begging to go back to school, she said ‘I want to see my friends, I miss everyone’.”
Facing troublesome selections on a regular basis, Florence stated she feels “the weight of the world” on her shoulders. She added: “I will never know if I made the right one or did the other thing. I feel overwhelmed, I just hope the love for my daughter will get us through all this.”
You might help Eva get Neurorehabilitation by supporting her GoFundMe right here.
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