Long wait for cancer diagnosis
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.”
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.