A mum who was told her daughter was ‘just short for her age’ was shocked to discover her growth was being stunted – by a rare brain tumor.
Worried Jane O’Toole, 45, first took her youngest child Faith to the doctors when she was 13 because she stood at 4ft 11 inches, which was small compared to her friends.
Doctors initially dismissed Jane, who is only 5ft 2.5ins herself, and told her that they needed to give her time to grow.
But when Faith still hadn’t grown a year on, Jane took her daughter back to the doctors and she was referred to a pediatrics unit for an assessment.
And earlier this year Faith, now 15, was diagnosed with Craniopharyngioma, a large, non cancerous tumor.
The brain tumor had grown all around Faith’s optic chiasm and through her optic nerve, which transmits electrical impulses from your eyes to your brain.
Her pituitary gland, which controls a person’s growth, was taken over completely, which stunted her growth.
Speaking from Faith’s bedside at hospital, Jane said: “You never, ever think it’s going to happen to you. It’s amazing how it happens.
“We’re lucky because we managed to get on top of it but if we hadn’t, then she could have lost her sight completely.
Faith underwent a grueling nine-hour operation in July this year but thankfully, all of the tumor was removed.
Jane, of Preston, Lancs,. said that doctors initially thought Faith might have gone blind because of the removal of the tumor.
The surgeons spotted cerebral spinal fluid was leaking from her nose after the surgery, so she had to be taken back to theater the next day for a lumbar drain.
But after being discharged for two nights, Faith’s nose started to leak again and she was readmitted to hospital where she was diagnosed with meningitis.
The teenager has now luckily recovered but has currently lost the sight in her left eye.
Despite all of this, Jane has said Faith is doing has been ‘absolutely amazing’ and goes through everything ‘with a smile on her little face.’
Jane, who is also mum to William, 18, said: “She’s been absolutely amazing – even when she had meningitis.
Jane’s friends have now set up a GoFundMe page to support the family, as Jane is unable to work as a palliative nurse as she needs to stay with Faith in hospital.
She has been using her sick days to take him off, but has used them all up and doesn’t get any more as she works for a private company.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker