The Avengers of Hull!

Her lit­tle boy loves Cap­tain Amer­ica, but laura sneed, 29, has a dif­fer­ent hero...

Pick Me Up! - - HOT TOPIC -

Aflash of blue and red zoomed past the telly and jumped onto the set­tee.

Cap­tain Amer­ica – oth­er­wise known as my lit­tle boy Bai­ley, 6 – was charg­ing around the liv­ing room.

‘Sav­ing the world again,’ I smiled.

Bai­ley was a typ­i­cal lit­tle lad, al­ways go­ing a mile a minute.

He loved su­per­heroes, and if he wasn’t dressed as Cap­tain Amer­ica, he’d be pre­tend­ing he was Iron Man. He had the en­ergy of both com­bined!

Un­til Fe­bru­ary 2016, when he changed overnight...

‘Mummy, my head hurts,’ he cried one day.

‘Now, now baby,’ I hushed, giv­ing him Calpol.

But, plagued by throb­bing headaches, Bai­ley would oc­ca­sion­ally be sent home from school.

Grouchy and tired, he’d curl up in his room, lights out, curtains shut tight.

His su­per­hero cos­tumes didn’t get a look-in.

So un­like my nor­mally bub­bly boy.

‘Maybe they’re mi­graines?’ I fret­ted to my hus­band Stephen, 32.

But Bai­ley was so young.

Our other

chil­dren Ruby-jo, then 10, and Lexi, 4, had never been through any­thing like this.

Stroking Bai­ley’s head as he slept, I was con­cerned. No painkillers helped. ‘Keep a headache di­ary,’ our GP sug­gested, ‘Then we can see if there’s a pat­tern.’

Weeks later, though, Bai­ley was still suf­fer­ing, only doc­tors couldn’t fig­ure out why. Poor thing.

Back and forth to the

GP over the fol­low­ing eight months, Bai­ley was on all types of painkillers, but they made him tired and sick.

By now, I was preg­nant again, and so wor­ried about our boy.

Fi­nally, Bai­ley was re­ferred to Hull Royal In­fir­mary for tests.

Then, on 28 Novem­ber 2016, I had

my daugh­ter La­cie.

A full-time mum-of-four, I had to stay home while Stephen took Bai­ley to hos­pi­tal for an MRI scan on 8 De­cem­ber.

‘Doc­tors are go­ing to find out what’s wrong,’ I said, hug­ging my fright­ened lit­tle lad.

Hours on, I was breast­feed­ing when the phone rang.

‘You need to get here now,’ Stephen choked. ‘They’ve found some­thing.’

I took a taxi to drop my older two girls off at my mum’s, and then con­tin­ued to the hos­pi­tal.

There, Stephen and I were ush­ered into a room.

‘Bai­ley has a brain tu­mour,’ doc­tors ex­plained. Please, no! They couldn’t tell us more, but made plans to trans­fer Bai­ley to Leeds Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal for spe­cial­ist care. Af­ter, I barely slept… Why Bai­ley? For the next few days, I al­most for­got I was a new mum. I wanted an­swers, now. But there were none. Bai­ley had to stay in hos­pi­tal while doc­tors ran count­less tests. ‘Why am I here, Mummy?’ he h asked me.

‘There’s a lit­tle lump on your brain,’ I ex­plained softly.

‘Don’t worry, the doc­tors will make it bet­ter,’ Stephen said.

And, even­tu­ally, they were able to tell us more.

‘Bai­ley has a cere­bel­lo­pon­tine an­gle (CPA) menin­gioma tu­mour,’ the con­sul­tants said.

It was so rare in a child, they couldn’t put my mind at rest – they sim­ply had no an­swers.

Though the end­less MRI scans con­firmed it was non-can­cer­ous, grow­ing on the brain sur­face, they daren’t op­er­ate to re­move it.

‘Bai­ley could lose his eye­sight, hear­ing and mo­bil­ity,’ we were warned.

Too risky. I felt numb. Sent home, Bai­ley was put on a ‘watch and wait’ list.

Christ­mas was can­celled, we were too shocked to cel­e­brate.

After­wards Bai­ley had scans every three months.

The Brain Tu­mour Char­ity gave us fun colour­ing books and py­ja­mas for Bai­ley, af­ter find­ing out from the hos­pi­tal about his tu­mour.

Thank­fully, af­ter scans in Jan­uary, doc­tors con­firmed the tu­mour hadn’t grown.

Med­i­ca­tion helped his headaches, too.

He was such a trouper, only ever off school if he had a re­ally bad headache.

Slowly, Bai­ley re­turned to his bub­bly self.

And that meant one thing – the su­per­hero pas­sion was back!

‘What do you fancy watch­ing?’ I’d ask each day.

Bai­ley’s an­swer was al­ways the same…

‘ The Avengers!’ he beamed. A daily dose of his beloved su­per­heroes worked won­ders.

Now 7, Bai­ley only gets the odd headache every few months.

Bian­nual scans show his tu­mour hasn’t grown, ei­ther.

Ruby-jo, 11, has been hit the hardest, wor­ry­ing about her baby brother.

But Bai­ley’s a lit­tle li­on­heart.

Want­ing to give some­thing back to The Brain Tu­mour Char­ity, we de­cided to do a spon­sored walk for it.

‘Can there be su­per­heroes?’ Bai­ley asked. Ob­vi­ously!

Through Face­book k and word of mouth, we ral­lied friends, fam­ily and school­child­ren.

And, on 8 Oc­to­ber last year, 40 kids dressed as ev­ery­thing from the Hulk to Iron n Man turned up for Bai­ley’s su­per­hero walk at East Park, in our home town of Hull. Our very own lo­cal he­roes! Lead­ing the way, Bai­ley, dressed as Cap­tain Amer­ica, charged ahead.

It was sup­posed to be a 10K walk (over six miles), but we man­aged four miles. And raised £230 for The Brain Tu­mour Char­ity.

Bai­ley’s face was a pic­ture when Cap­tain Amer­ica pre­sented him with a medal and a tro­phy at the end.

It haunts me every day what could hap­pen to my brave boy.

Af­ter a checkup this Jan­uary, we got more pos­i­tive news – that there was no growth.

It’s a wait­ing game un­til our next scan in six months time.

But Bai­ley’s still charg­ing around im­per­son­at­ing his idol.

And what­ever hap­pens, we’ll be ready for ac­tion.

Cap­tain Amer­ica might be Bai­ley’s hero, but my boy will wi al­ways y be mine.

Ruby-jo,lexi and Bai­ley – oh, and Iron Man!

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