A mother recorded her daughter’s ‘last words’ before a life-saving surgery as the procedure could claim her voice.
Nuala Carson, 3, suffered vomiting, headaches and was walking on her toes for two years before medics figured out what was wrong.
Her mother, Naomi Carson, said they were initially dismissed by doctors until Nuala suffered from a seizure and was rushed to Arrow Park Hospital.
“Two years previous to diagnosis I started taking her to the GP thinking something wasn’t right,” the 28-year-old mother said.
“She was toe walking and complaining of headaches. They said she’s far too young, it could be stomach pain and kids can’t tell you what kind of pain it is. I don’t think they really listened to me.
“Then she started vomiting. She would wake up in the middle of the night and vomit and then fall back asleep.”
Doctors first suspected that the toddler may have epilepsy but after undergoing tests, her parents were told that Nuala had a large brain tumor.
“They sent Nuala to see the epilepsy nurse on the 15th January,” Naomi shared. “She had started to lose her motor skills so once we left the nurses must have been talking and thought it was something; i.e a brain tumour.
“The next morning I got a phone call to bring Nuala into A&E to be tested by a doctor.”
Nuala was transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital after an MRI scan showed that she had a large brain tumor.
“They didn’t know if they were going to be able to operate because the tumour was that big,” she expressed.
“If there was nothing they could do then we would lose Nuala. I was distraught. It’s all such a blur.
“The only thing I can really remember is running off the children’s ward and getting through the double doors and collapsing.
“My husband said I was screaming. He said he’ll never forget those screams.”
Before the operation, Naomi recorded her daughter reading a children’s book as she was told the operation may cause the child to lose her voice.
“The night before I recorded her reading We’re Going On a Bear Hunt so I wouldn’t forget her voice, in case she never spoke again,” Naomi said.
“Because one of the things they said when she comes round from surgery is that she might be mute because of where the tumour was.”
Nuala, who is now four, has made an incredible recovery. The surgeons successfully removed 100 percent of the tumor in the 10-hour surgery and she can still speak after the operation.
“As soon as she saw she cried ‘mummy mummy’ and I couldn’t stop crying,” Naomi said.
“I just knew she was going to be OK as soon as they said they got all of the tumour out.
“It was one of the most amazing moments ever.”
Nuala has been registered blind since the surgery and half of her body has been affected but her mother said that she is ‘happy and healthy.’
She now attends physiotherapy appointments every month and must undergo an MRI scan every six months.
“I can’t thank Alder Hey enough,” Naomi said. “Every single person that we’ve met and has been involved with Nuala has been amazing.
“Even down to the staff in the shop and the way they talk to the kids, it’s like they’ve been told to be extra nice.”
She added: “It’s just made us realise as a family how lucky we are with the support we’ve got around us, from family, friends and work colleagues – we are so lucky.”
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments section and SHARE this story with your friends and family!