Mum’s disbelief as 8-year-old son’s headaches and sickness turns out to be brain tumour

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An eight-year-old boy almost died after headaches and sickness he had been complaining about turned out be a brain tumour.

Riley Quinn, from Sheffield, has always been a fit and healthy boy and has never been seriously ill, his mum said.

But a couple of months ago he began suffering with headaches and sickness – and his mum couldn’t believe it when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Emily Brook, 30, claimed doctors originally said it was migraines and she had to make sure that Riley was remembering to wear his glasses.

But when her little boy started to be sick before eating food, complaining of a ‘funny smell’ when he woke up and starting to lose weight fast she called the doctors again.

They said he would be sent for a CT scan to rule anything out but was rushed into hospital on December 23, 2020, when Emily rang doctors again concerned.

It was then that doctors confirmed the devastating news that Riley had a brain tumour, Yorkshire Live reports.

Emily said: “I just couldn’t believe it.

“You read of these things happening to other parents and you just never think that it is going to happen to you.

“Riley has always been a really fit and healthy boy and has never been seriously ill.

“To look at him you would have never thought he had a brain tumour.

“His step dad Marc took him into hospital as I had to look after our nine-month-old baby but when 10 to 15 professionals started to look at Riley through the window we knew it wasn’t good news.”

Riley was admitted into hospital that day but doctors couldn’t perform an MRI scan as his heart rate dipped suddenly.

An emergency drain was fitted the next day on Christmas Eve to drain away the spinal fluid that had become trapped and was building up pressure.

Emily added: “He seemed OK after that but he started to look really poorly in his face and I think his body had finally given up after trying to keep strong for so long.

“But he wasn’t allowed home for Christmas Day which was obviously really heartbreaking.

“He was taken in for an operation on December 29 to remove the tumour, most of it was removed apart from a tiny slither which was attached to his brain stem.

“Riley still can’t talk or move much and his tongue has really swollen up since the surgery but doctors expect him to make a full recovery.

“At the moment we can’t see past taking each day as it comes, its been so hard to see him like that, not like the Riley we know.

“Right now it’s just heartbreaking but his progress from day to day has been remarkable.”

Doctors believe that Riley should make a full recovery within a few weeks.

But now the family have to begin the anxious wait to find out if the tumour is cancerous.

Emily said: “A biopsy has been taken of the tumour and we should hopefully have those results back next week.

“But for now its just an anxious wait.

“When we first told Riley about his diagnosis the first thing he asked was ‘it is cancer?’ so now we’re just praying that it is benign.

“For now we’re just taking it everyday as it comes.

“I feel awful because I didn’t believe him at first and I thought he was faking it and I should have called the doctors sooner than I did.

“Riley was begging me not to phone anyone, but I will never forgive myself.

“I just really want to raise awareness now to make sure that you listen to your children, even if they’re adamant nothing is wrong just ring the doctors anyway.”

A Go Fund Me page has been set up by Emily’s cousin Beth Storey to help the family through this difficult time.

Emily is currently on maternity leave with her nine-month-old son and her partner Marc can’t work at the moment due to the pandemic.

So far over £2,000 has been raised for them.

Emily said: “My cousin actually set it up as we’re very proud people and we don’t like asking or even accepting help.

“I’ll only take a few lifts from people here and there.

“So she set it up on our behalf as it was just something that we would have never done.”

You can donate to the fundraising page for Riley’s family here.

For now the family will wait to hear back from the biopsy on the tumour and focus on Riley’s recovery from his surgery.