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EMF Studies

25 September 2016

13-Year-Old Was a Week Away from Death After Delays in Diagnosing Brain Tumour

Campaign:  Lita with mum Emma.
[While we do not know the origin of Lita's brain tumor, we warn everyone - especially children and teenagers - to limit their use of cell phones and use wired headsets when making calls.  Never hold a cell phone directly to the ear:  the user manuals all recommend holding the phone at a certain distance from the head and body.]

13-year-old was a week away from death after delays in diagnosing brain tumour
by Dave_Knapper, stokesentinel.co.uk, 
29 August 2016

SCHOOLGIRL Lita Ruskin was just a week away from death – after delays in diagnosis meant a tumour took over almost half her brain.

Her worried family took Lita to see her GP and optician and even called 999 after she was violently sick and complained of blurred vision.

But the huge mass measuring 10cm by 8cm was discovered nine months after her symptoms began when an specialist discovered her optical nerve was being squashed by the pressure.

Now, as 13-year-old Lita continues her remarkable recovery, her parents are highlighting a campaign to raise awareness of holdups in diagnosing brain tumours in children and particularly girls.

Mum Emma Gilchrist told The Sentinel that medics believe the mass had been slowly growing since Lita was a baby.

The 39-year-old, from Blurton, said: “The surgeons said it was one of the biggest tumours they had ever seen.

"It had taken over nearly half her brain and was starting to push through her skull. If another week had gone by she would have died.

“I do think that it should have been picked up earlier. I knew there was something seriously wrong.

“I want people to know what happened to Lita in case anyone else is going through something similar. It is important people understand all the symptoms of brain tumours."

It was back in December 2013 when Lita was so sick her mum called an ambulance but after routine checks the paramedics said she probably had a vomiting bug and did not need hospital treatment.

Not long afterwards, Lita's face began to droop and a GP diagnosed Bell's Palsy – a condition which causes temporary weakness on one side.

Then five months later, Lita started to experience blurred vision but three visits to the optician did not reveal any issues. It was even suggested Lita may have been angling for glasses like her older sister Chloe.

But from that point, Lita's eyesight deteriorated to the point where it was like she was looking through a pinhole.

At Emma's insistence another eye test showed the optical nerves were being 'squashed' and a CT scan at the Royal Stoke University Hospital that July confirmed the family's worst fears.

She was immediately sent to Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool where she underwent 17 hours of surgery and later a second five-hour operation.

Tests revealed the slow growing tumour was part benign and part cancerous.

Now all that remains is a small mass behind her nose which has to be monitored every six months. However, Lita must continue to take medication and the damage caused by the tumour has left her with behavioural issues and memory problems.

Retail worker Emma, who also has a 21-year-old son Jason, added: “Way back when I called the ambulance, if she had been given a scan it would have revealed it then.

"I remember looking at her and it seemed like she'd had a stroke and was staring straight ahead. I was so worried.

"I actually asked the doctor at that point whether she could have a brain tumour but he said no, they were very rare.

"She never suffered headaches but she did have other symptoms. I'm just so glad I was persistent and I'd urge others to do the same."

The Brain Tumour Charity has this week revealed a third of patients aged 24 and under had seen a healthcare professional more than five times before being diagnosed.

And it said one in five children waited longer than 12 months for a diagnosis.

It also revealed 25 per cent of girls were diagnosed within a month of seeing a healthcare professional compared to 40 per cent of boys.

Husband Shaun added: "We were all devastated when we finally found out what was wrong. "No-one wants to be told there's anything wrong with their child.

"I'd like more people to be made aware of the signs of having a brain tumour."

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