Little boy's life-threatening brain tumour discovered after routine eye check-upMedics detect large mass at the back of Joel Sheldon's headSeven-year-old rushed in for emergency surgery and now fully recovered
13:13 GMT, 6 April 2012
13:16 GMT, 6 April 2012
A mother has revealed how her son's life-threatening brain tumour was spotted thanks to a routine eye-check up.
Little Joel Sheldon was booked in to see a specialist about his rare condition called heterochromia, which causes both eyes to be different colours.
But immediately after the appointment he was rushed to Birmingham Children's Hospital, as medics detected a large mass in the back of his head and he underwent a nine-hour operation to have it removed.
Joel, aged seven, with mother Louise is now fully recovered after medics discovered he had a brain tumour
The surgery proved a success
and follow-up checks have since confirmed that
the cancer has gone.
Mother Louise, 38, who works as a GP in Dudley Birmingham, said: 'Thanks to research into children's cancers, Joel is here today and
living a full and happy life like any other seven-year-old.
'We were devastated and shocked when we discovered that he had a brain tumour.
'You don't expect to be told something like that, it's difficult to put it into words how you feel.'
Medics discovered Joel – who was born with one brown and one blue-coloured
eye – had a Medulloblastoma, a childhood tumour located in a part of the brain responsible for balance and other complex motor functions.
Symptoms, usually due to increased pressure in the head, include nausea, vomiting, headaches and clumsiness.
Family support: Joel with his mother Louise, father Jason and sister Eve, 8
Louise, married to photographer Jason, 41 added: 'It all happened so quickly. They told us it was a very big
tumour that had to be taken out very quickly. By that time, the
headaches were getting worse and he was unable to walk in a straight
'We explained to him that there was something in his head which had to be taken out. He accepted it quite well and was very matter of fact.'
As the the tumour affected the part of Joel's
brain controlling balance, he remains a little unsteady on his feet and
his speech is a little slow, but he is now back at school and his family are busy raising funds for Cancer Research UK.
Less than 90 youngsters a year develop medulloblastoma in the UK, although it is still the most common malignant brain tumour in children.