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Archie's Story

Archie's family visited the Lodge in August 2023.

In October 2019 Archie started having daily headaches, I took him to the doctors several times over a couple of months, they kept saying it was the stress of starting a new school alone as none of his friends from primary school were going there.

His headaches continued so I took him bk to the gp, they then told me I was inducing headaches because I was giving him calpol and nurofen everyday 😔 so told me to stop giving him them.

The headaches then got worse where Archie would projectile vomit on the spot and his headaches would get worse just by walking up the stairs, it then got to the point he couldn't watch TV or play his PlayStation as his eyes hurt too much which made his headaches worse.

I kept taking him to the doctors in total about 10 times and the hospital a couple of times over 7 months until they finally refered him to a paediatric team who done some neurological examinations on him.

They booked an MRI for 2 days later and the next morning after the scan I got a call to tell me to get straight up there to discuss their findings.

I knew instantly that it was bad news and had to be a tumour. I was told to bring another adult with me so I took my eldest daughter Caitlin with Archie aswell. The consultant sat us down and said they'd found a 6cm mass in his cerebellum and another tumour in his 3rd ventricle, we were devastated our world just collapsed around us, I couldn't believe what was happening it didn't seem real atall. They said they needed to start Archie on steroids straight away to reduce the swelling on his brain and that they'd need 2 surgeons to operate on him. He had the surgery 4 days on the 25th May 2020 after the steroids had reduced the swelling slightly, he was in the operating theatre for 9 hours which felt like weeks.

Archie then spent the next few days in PICU then a further 10 days on the Neuro oncology ward where he had to learn to walk, talk and swallow again. We went home on Archies 12th birthday. He then had to be admitted again 3 days later as he started leaking cfs fluid from his head so had to have another surgery to rectify that, we then spent a further 8 days in St George's hospital. Archie then had to have 6 weeks of daily high dose radiotherapy with chemotherapy then a further 6 months of high dose chemotherapies. Through this time Archie had several port infections and shingles. Archie completed treatment in May 2021.

He has to have regular brain and spine mri scans and is on growth hormone injections aswell as thyroxine as the radiotherapy has destroyed his thyroid and stopped his spine from growing. Archies now 15 and doing much better, although the treatments and because of where the tumours were have affected his balance, his cognitive capabilities and he's just been diagnosed with ASD aswell. He's an amazing boy 💕

Thank you to BSF for this break, we are really looking forward to it.

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