A British mother discovers her teenage son has a large brain tumor after claiming his clumsiness was due to his recent growth spurt.
Samantha Harkett, 39, was initially coping with the fact that her son, Thomas, 16, was just going through the throes of puberty and had grown to over six feet tall in a short period of time. I believed that there was only
“I think it was because he was a clumsy, gangly teenager,” Halkett told Kennedy News and Media. “He grew so quickly that his legs were three-quarters of his body and he was ten feet in size.”
“My son suddenly grew to 6ft 1in. He’s small compared to his big legs,” the mother continued, adding that her son was “always very clumsy.”
Halkett reported last month that her son had started complaining of frequent headaches and feeling tired and sick, but her worried mother said it was due to fears about the upcoming General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) exam. Thought.
“There were a lot of things going on, exams, exam stress, etc., and there was a bit of a period where my son wasn’t very good at eating,” the mother explained. I’m staring at a computer screen and not getting enough sleep. ”
Halkett said Thomas’ headache usually lasts a day or two.
At this time, the boy admitted that he had difficulty seeing distant objects, but could not say anything because he did not want to wear glasses.
“He hid it very well,” Halkett said.
Her mother attributed it to computer addiction and “typical teenageness”.
To make matters worse, the 16-year-old boy continued to fall ill.
“He had been sick for weeks with cold after cold,” an exhausted Halkett explained. “So when it came to this disease, I thought, ‘Is it another bug?'” Because there were so many diseases. ”
“Sometimes he came into the room and fell asleep, or I found him in a dark room, and I could see the headache getting worse,” Halkett added.
Halkett continued to believe there was a simple explanation for all of her son’s symptoms, at least until she noticed that Thomas began to zigzag when walking.
“He tried to get something out of the car, but instead of walking straight, he was walking like a snake,” his mother recalls. “We were just like, ‘He’s so clumsy, he’s in Thomas’ world.'”
Ultimately, however, the boy’s vision deteriorated so badly that he decided to see an ophthalmologist. And it turned out that the boy was suffering from a huge tumor that blocked the fluid to his brain.
“It was terrifying. We didn’t expect it,” Halkett recalls. “Thomas was the bravest of the match and he only got upset once. It was in that moment that we knew what it was.”
The boy was examined at Royal Stoke University Hospital, where doctors said Thomas had a grade 1 brain tumor, or pilocytic astrocytoma. It is classified as the slowest growing form of brain mass. According to the Mayo Clinic.
“His whole body could have malfunctioned. It was essentially a time bomb,” said Halkett, adding that the ophthalmologist literally saved his son’s life.
Thankfully, doctors were able to remove the tumor just two days after the family checked in, but Thomas was kept for observation until he was discharged.
“He’s very brave and resilient. He got us through. His mindset was, ‘Okay, let’s go, let’s try,'” said Thomas. The mother said with relief.
The 16-year-old also expressed a desire to recover from the incident.
“I was horrified when I found out I had a brain tumor,” the boy said. “I feel better and look forward to the future.”
Halkett said Thomas is back to near perfection but still struggles with coordination and balance and is still unable to walk on his own.
“He can dress himself and now manages to eat, but he can’t prepare food or stand for long periods of time,” his mother said. “He has crutches for short walks, but he’s in a wheelchair when he goes everywhere. We hope to improve his balance and coordination. Just strength and time It just takes.”
In light of this terrifying ordeal, Halkett said she wanted to raise awareness about the disease.
“I would tell other parents to try to keep their children screened, because I don’t think people understand how important they are, because I didn’t.” she said.