Long wait for can­cer di­ag­no­sis

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Near You -

CAN­NING VALE ANY­ONE with a young child will know that hav­ing your baby di­ag­nosed with a chronic ill­ness is a life-chang­ing event.

When Wayne and Eleisha Brooks dis­cov­ered their fiveyear-old daugh­ter So­phie had spine and brain can­cer it shook them to the core.

“The feel­ing is one of dis­be­lief, you can’t fathom it; that some­thing like that would ever hap­pen to you,” Mr Brooks said.

“One minute you have a healthy child and to be told she has brain can­cer – it just knocks you over,” he said.

The cou­ple, who live in Can­ning Vale, first no­ticed some­thing was wrong with their daugh­ter last Au­gust.

“We re­alised So­phie wasn’t well, when she went to bed she had a lot of pain in her ab­domen,” Wayne Brooks said. “This went on for a long time and the doc­tors and spe­cial­ists told us she had con­sti­pa­tion.

“We went through the process of putting her on med­i­ca­tion to clear her out and had X-rays taken to see if she was un­blocked.

“It was then the doc­tors no­ticed she had sco­l­io­sis, cur­va­ture of the spine, they didn’t think there was any­thing re­lated be­tween the two,” Mr Brooks said.

The cou­ple went back and forth with So­phie to Princess She was in ex­cru­ci­at­ing pain ev­ery night and all they told us was she needed to take pain-re­liev­ing drugs. Mar­garet Hos­pi­tal, vis­it­ing spe­cial­ists who ad­vised she would need a back brace.

“This went on for three months and we thought we were on the right track as it was per­haps the spine press­ing on her nerves, but So­phie’s pain came back and it was much worse.”

Mr Brooks and his wife went back to hos­pi­tal a fur­ther four or five times to be told So­phie still had con­sti­pa­tion, but this time the cou­ple dis­agreed.

“When we were in hos­pi­tal for the fifth time, we told them we are not leav­ing un­til we can get some sort of a scan done or So­phie sees an­other spe­cial­ist be­cause we said it can’t be her bowel,” Mr Brooks said.

A Princess Mar­garet Hos­pi­tal spokesper­son said there were a range of com­plex med­i­cal is­sues that re­quired high level di­ag­nos­tic in­ves­ti­ga­tions like MRI scan­ning.

“MRI scan­ning is time-con­sum­ing, ex­pen­sive and of­ten re­quires a gen­eral anaes­thetic due to it be­ing dis­tress­ing for young chil­dren,” the spokesper­son said.

“There­fore its use needs to be care­fully man­aged by se­nior clin­i­cal staff and there are of­ten wait times for cases that are as­sessed to be not ur­gent.”

Tim Mayne


Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey

Stu­dent So­phie Brooks with class­mates Sa­haana Lingeswaran,Calle Jans­son,Trys­tan Pinto and Raiden Blizard wear­ing eye­patches for Pirate Day to raise aware­ness of child brain can­cer.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.