Irish Daily Star
Mum reveals brave Brandon battled back after brain surgery left him unable to move or speak.
Being told your 4 year old child has a brain tumour is one of the toughest things a parent can hear, but for mum of two Kirsty Murphy, it was about to get worse.
Not only did her son Brandon need brain surgery to remove the cancerous lump, he also developed a rare medical condition after the operation left him paralysed and unable to speak. Today he’s a happy, normal, six year old but Kirsty, from Finglas, Co. Dublin, says her little boy can still remember being trapped, frozen, unable to move or call for help.
Brandon started getting sick in October 2014. He had headaches, he was vomiting, he was just four years old. The week before Christmas he had a fall at school, he banged his head and was knocked unconscious, and after that the headaches were much worse, it was horrendous”
He was having headaches every day and I was bringing him back and forth between the hospital and the GP. “Then on February 7, 2015 we were in A & E in Temple Street because Brandon’s balance was off when they brought him for a CT scan and found the tumour. It all happened very fast after that, three days later on February 10 he had the operation to remove the tumour.
But worse was to come. Brandon developed Posterior Fossa Syndrome, a rare condition found in children after surgery to remove brain tumours. Terrifyingly, affected children are paralysed and become mute. Brandon couldn’t move or talk he just lay in the bed for weeks. Gradually he started to get better, we were in Temple Street in March, then we were moved to Crumlin. On St Patrick’s day he started to say some of his words again, nana, daddy and now he can talk perfectly.
But it was an awful at the time and he can remember it all perfectly. Even now he’ll ask me “Why could’nt I talk, why couldn’t I move?”
I tell him ‘Your brain was very tired from the operation and needed to rest, that’s why. But that wasn’t the end of little Brandon’s ordeal as he started intense chemotherapy and radiation to kill the remaining cancer. Brandon got out of Crumlin in May and started chemo and radiation. The doctors had got all the tumour out but there were still spots on his brain and spine.
The day before his birthday they put the line in so they could feed him the treatment. He got an infection and ended up back in hospital. The radiation started in June, they had to put him asleep to give him the radiation therapy. Brandon got really sick in August he couldn’t walk, his body was just so tired from all the chemo and radiation.
When he got sick in August Brandon got so down. He was depressed and withdrew into himself he just wasn’t our Brandon, but we went to Barretstown and it really helped. He did a magic show while he was there and he absolutely loved being up on stage and being the center of attention, it was great for him, it really helped bring him out of himself.
Barretstown is an Irish charity offering free, medically endorsed camps and programmes designed for children living with cancer and serious illness. Brandon is now in senior infants and thankfully, is cancer free. His scans are all clear now thank god, and he’s doing great.
September is childhood cancer awareness month and Kirsty and Brandons are part of the Barretstown Autumn Appeal to raise money for the Irish charity, Dee Ahearn, CEO of Barretstown comments: ” Barretstown is a place where like Brandon, children can rebuild their courage and regain their childhood spirit and magic.
The Autumn Appeal will help us continue to give these children a bit of the magic back to their childhoods, and hopefully, do that for even more kids over the next few years. Our camps also give children with serious illness the opportunity to meet other children on the same journey of serious illness.
These camps would not be possible without our generous supporters and I would ask everyone who can to make a contribution.
Be part of the Barretstown Magic and help more children like Brandon come to camp by DONATING HERE