7-year-old Trenton O’Brien spent his last holiday season with his family after he was sent home from the hospital on Christmas Eve as there were no more treatments worth trying.
Trenton has a rare inoperable brain tumor and his health has been rapidly deteriorating since he returned home.
It was in June 2019 when he was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma or DIPG. It is a rare and highly aggressive form of cancer usually found in kids between ages 5 and 9. Around 250 children in the US are diagnosed with the disease every year.
This tumor is found at the top of the spine and the base of the brain. It presses on the pons, which is responsible for critical bodily functions, such as blood pressure, sleeping, and breathing. The tumor eventually affects swallowing, heartbeat, balance, and eyesight.
Symptoms of the tumor are difficulty walking, problems with balance and eye movement, strange limb movements, and facial weakness.
Only 10% of children with DIPG survive for 2 years after diagnosis, and less than 1% survive for 5 years.
By August, Trenton’s right eye couldn’t move to the right. He was having difficulty walking without assistance and he had started experiencing facial paralysis.
Scans in September revealed the radiation did not shrink the tumor but only slowed its growth.
In December, doctors discovered Trenton’s vitals were fluctuating rapidly.
“In the matter of 12 hours…he went from being able to feed himself and sit up without help and walk with minimal assistance to having total right sided paralysis,” the GoFundMe page set up for Trenton read.
Doctors said there was not much more they could do and the young boy was discharged from the hospital.
“The tumor grew that fast. It’s pushing down on his spinal cord and causing cerebral spinal fluid to building up and there’s nowhere for it to go.
“Unfortunately Trenton is declining rapidly.”
One internet user commented: “Poor little boy. It must be a very difficult time for the family.”
Another wrote: “Heartbreaking, poor kid. Life can be so cruel.”
A third added: “This breaks my heart. My prayers for this family.”
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