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22nd Oct 2018
This week is International Brain Tumour Awareness Week and here at Alder Hey, we feel this is the perfect time to share with you the amazing story of Daniel Bell…
For the first few years of Daniel’s life, he was like any other toddler, full of energy, happy and full of life at home in Ormskirk, but doctors soon discovered Daniel had a brain tumour the size of a fist.
At age three, mum Rosalind and dad Colin, had noticed a change in Daniel’s behaviour. He wasn’t the same happy go lucky toddler he was. Rosalind explains;
“His personality literally changed. He was grumpy had lots of tantrums, was sick and went back to sleeping in the day too, which was the total opposite of what he was previously.”
Thankfully Rosalind, who was also 7 months pregnant at the time, had seen a recent Headsmart campaign and had recognised some of the symptoms of a brain tumour. Daniel was taken to his Ormskirk A&E, who quickly realised the severity of the situation and Daniel was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Daniel was rushed straight to Alder Hey; a centre of excellence for brain conditions.
Once at Alder Hey, Daniel was taken straight to theatre where Neurosurgeon Ms Sasha Burns drained fluid on his brain during a 3 hour life-saving operation and the next day Daniel’s tumour was removed during a 9 hour operation by Mr Conor Mallucci, who had rushed back from London to perform the procedure.
The operation was a success, helped by the use of Alder Hey’s 3-T MRI scanner, a pioneering scanner which allows surgeons to scan the brain in theatre. Alder Hey is the first hospital in Europe to have this kit, which was paid for by Alder Hey Children’s Charity.
“Mr Mallucci said that the operation ‘went perfectly’ and that he had successfully managed to remove the whole of Daniel’s tumour. We spent 6 days on HDU to recover and then went to the neuro ward for a week. The nurses were incredible,” said Rosalind.
After two weeks in Alder Hey, Daniel went home. Apart from a number of follow up scans, Daniel is now a healthy and very active little boy and also a budding actor.
“Daniel is now really happy. He is a cheeky little kid and he loves being with his friends. He was recently in Little Shop of Horrors with his local Performing Arts Club,” said Rosalind.
“He was also awarded ‘exceeding’ on his SATS at school recently and has been involved in raising money for Alder Hey Children’s Charity.”
“Alder Hey is such an inspirational place full of amazing people. The staff put themselves first often at the expense of their own time. It is impossible to put into words how world class they are at what they do. We are fortunate to have them on our doorsteps,” said Rosalind.
Daniel was also one of our fantastic patients who took part in the #BeASuperstar campaign this year in collaboration with Matalan.
The superstar pyjamas are close to selling out, but you can still show your support by downloading the new charity single, 'Reach for the Stars', performed by patient Grace Lee, Matalan’s Lauren Clarke and the Alder Hey Matalan Choir. See below for the official video and download links:
Alder Hey Children's Charity