Misdiagnosed brain tumour leaves teenager unable to walk
PUBLISHED: 11:33 19 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:12 19 October 2018
A 13-year-old who was left in a wheelchair after her brain tumour was misdiagnosed for four months is backing a national campaign to raise awareness of the condition.
In January 2016 Maisie Lossau, now 13, was diagnosed with a low grade pilocytic astrocytoma in her brain stem after four months of symptoms that went misdiagnosed.
Throughout 2016, she spent nine months in a high-intensity unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, where she had surgery to remove 80pc of her tumour. She experienced severe complications after surgery and is no longer able to walk, breathe, eat or drink by herself.
She and her family, from Spixworth, have now backed The Brain Tumour Charity’s campaign HeadSmart, to raise awareness of the disease and diagnosis times.
Dawn Lossau, Maisie’s mother, said: “Maisie presented with several symptoms of a brain tumour but things were missed for us. Had she been diagnosed sooner the outcome of her journey might have been very different.”
Maisie began to feel unwell in October 2016. She complained about neck pain, her parents noticed her eyes crossing and a gym teacher noticed weakness down her left side.
Around Christmas, symptoms worsened and in January 2017 Maisie suffered what looked like a stroke. Mrs Lossau said: “We didn’t want to wait any longer so we took her to see a private specialist.”
Maisie underwent physical and blood tests along with an MRI scan, which diagnosed a brain tumour. Mrs Lossau said: “There are no words to describe how we felt.”
This year the family found that Maisie’s brain tumour was growing again. She is now receiving chemotherapy. Mrs Lossau said: “We think that she should have started receiving chemotherapy in 2016 when 20pc of the tumour remained.”
The HeadSmart campaign is run alongside the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and Nottingham University’s Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre, with the aim of bringing down the diagnosis time for children with brain tumours.
Sarah Lindsell, chief executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, said: “In some cases, a delay to diagnosis can even mean the difference between life and death.”