Parents thought girl, 5, had food allergy – but it was a terminal brain tumour
The family of a five-year-old girl thought she might have a food allergy when she fell in – but the truth was far more heartbreaking.
Lucy Smith has been diagnosed with a rare brain tumour for which there is no treatment.
Her devastated parents Dwayne and Sarah have been told Lucy has just six to nine months to live.
Mum Sarah, from Donaghmede in north Dublin initially thought her daughter's symptoms might be a sign of an allergy, the Irish Mirror reports.
But after an emergency visit to Temple Street Children's Hospital, Lucy was diagnosed with a rare tumour called DIPG – diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.
Sarah initially noticed something was wrong when Lucy seemed listless and wasn't out playing with the other children.
The little girl also vomited a few times which led mum-of-six Sarah to think Lucy might have a food allergy.
She told The Irish Sun: "I just noticed Lucy wasn't really involved and she was more tired than usual.
“I made the appointment to try our local GP who told me that it could be the heat, and that she probably wasn't able for it.
“She told me watch what she was eating because she did vomit a few times. I was thinking it was maybe reflux or some sort of food allergy.”
Lucy seemed to be on the mend for a while but then she collapsed just as the family were preparing for a trip to Dublin Zoo.
Sarah said: "On the morning we were due to go the zoo, Lucy didn’t look herself at all, her whole complexion changed.
"Her eyes rolled to the back of her head and she wet herself.
“As I was bringing her up to get changed, she just went limp and that’s when I panicked and shouted at Lucy’s dad Dwayne to get an ambulance".
Paramedics told Sarah they thought Lucy might have a viral infection but she realised it was more serious when doctors ordered a scan.
She said: "They wanted to do all these tests and when they said they were keeping her in and they wanted to do an MRI scan, that’s when my heart started racing and I knew something was wrong.
“Dwayne came in the next morning and we went and spoke to the doctor and that’s when we were told.”
The family were told Lucy's illness was terminal and they could only offer palliative radiotherapy.
Lucy underwent emergency surgery and a shunt was inserted in her head to drain fluid from her brain.
Her parents decided not to proceed with radiotherapy and have brought her home to make the most of their time together.
The family have placed Lucy on a plant-based diet since her diagnosis.
Sarah said: “Since she’s been home, she’s back to herself, she’s doing so well.
"She’s my Lucy and I don’t want to change that, that’s why we turned down the radiotherapy.
“We're treating it naturally.”
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