A boy who survived a brain tumor when he was seven years old was given a devastating diagnosis years later after experiencing “pins and needles” down his right side.
Freddie Parsons, now 16, began waking up at night with tingling sensations when he was only seven, but when his family realized he was having seizures while he slept, they knew something was seriously wrong.
His parents Freddie’s parents, Vikki, 45, and Martin, 56, from North Yorkshire, were told they had to register the seizure for the doctors to see.
After registering a seizure at night, their doctor referred them to Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool, where they received the devastating news that Freddie had a brain tumor.
Vikki told the Liverpool Echo: “They decided it was not just epilepsy at night and gave him an MRI scan. That was when they found out there was a tumor. It was in March 2012.
“He had a biopsy in July, came home for a few days and ended up again with an emergency stay because he was constantly fit. They were chasing the biopsy results and it turned out to be a benign tumor.
“They decided at the time that they should have surgery to try to remove most of it, but there was still a little near his brain stem that was too dangerous to get to.
“It was very close to his motor cortex, so they were more concerned about whether it would affect his mobility, so it was a big thing to deal with because he was an extremely active and sporty seven-year-old.
“It went very well when he was seven, he immediately jumped back and was back in school after three weeks in a disabled car.
“We thought it was because they thought it had no blood supply so it would not grow, and they let us out after a few years.
“When he was 14, he started getting tingling sensations in the right side and we were referred back to Alder Hey. That’s when they scanned him again and found that the tumor had decided to grow back, which is extremely rare. .
“It was huge. We really thought we were home and dry. He was back pretty quickly. A few weeks after they diagnosed him, they took him back and he had a nine hour surgery to remove so much. , as they could.
“We are now continuing to perform annual MRI scans just to make sure it does not grow back, but we have the possibility that it is a recurrence that is quite difficult for him to deal with. It has been quite challenging, but he has always been amazing us. “
Vikki also remembered when his sister Abi registered the seizure for the doctors.
The mother of three said: “It was not the first seizure he got because he woke up at night and told that he felt he had needles and needles and that his side was numb.
“I just thought he had been lying in a funny position, like when you wake up and you have a dead arm because you wanted to lie on it for too long.
“He had shared a room with his brother at the time, and we watched him shake sometimes [in his sleep].
“We were asked to pick it up by the local hospital and it was really hard because he wanted to wake you up at the end of his seizure.
“We walked away in a caravan that our friends lent us and Abi managed to warn us at night when she shared the bed with him and we got some footage that night.
“It was scary for her when she also shared the bed with him at the time. It was not the first seizure he had, but it was the first we managed to capture on camera to show a doctor.”
Vikki, also the mother of Abi, 21 and Henry, 19, has left a pride in her son for not only soldering through two brain surgeries but also raising thousands of pounds for Alder Hey.
Freddie has recently raised £ 4,000 by cycling every day for a month.
In total, he rode 250 miles last year.
The pediatrician told ECHO: “It has certainly been challenging. He struggled with the work his school put him to PE. They gave him plank challenges and all sorts of things that he was not really capable of.
“He sent a message to his PE teacher and said he was going out on his bike most days. So even though he could not do the work he was doing, he kept fit.
“He was very supportive. Then Freddie turned around and said, ‘I could [ride my bike] weekday. If I did it every day, could I then be sponsored? ‘He said he could do 250 miles in a month, just keeping in mind that it is very hilly around us as we are right in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.
“So he literally went out every day regardless of the weather. It also gave him something really positive to focus on. We ended up creating a JustGiving site because of the lockdown, and it went really a little crazy. It was really good for him. . ”