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Mom shares brain tumor symptoms in baby

If treatment had been delayed by just one or two days she may not have survived.

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Molly with her mum Corinne. (Brain Tumour Research via SWNS)

By Amy Reast via SWNS

A baby's brain tumor was diagnosed after her mom noticed unusual symptoms - like rapid head growth.

Corinne Wardle, a nurse, began to notice some odd changes when her daughter Molly Wardle-Hampton was just 12 weeks old.

So she spent months documenting Molly's symptoms - with the growth in the soft spots of her head among the most noticeable.

Corinne, 38, also noted a fixed eye gaze, a tilt to one side of her head and patterns of vomiting.

Worried her daughter's head was measuring "off the charts," the mom-of-three took in her for tests - where it was revealed she had an ependymoma tumor on her brain.

CT scan of a mass on Molly's brain. (Brain Tumour Research via SWNS)

Luckily the tumor was caught in time and Molly had surgery for it to be removed - and her most recent MRI scan shows no new growth.

But doctors had warned if treatment had been delayed by just one or two days she may not have survived, Corinne said.

Corrine, who is also mom to Leah, 12 and Kacey, 11, is now working with the charity Brain Tumour Research to raise awareness.

She said: "For the first few months of her life, Molly couldn’t be put down and would cry every time – as if she were in pain.

"Looking back, this was one of the symptoms which pieced everything together."

Molly Wardle-Hampton in a hospital bed. (Brain Tumour Research via SWNS)

“I tried different things to eliminate conditions common with newborns.

"It was both her eyes deviating outwards and her head measuring off the charts which meant she had a CT scan.

"That was when I was given the worst news you could ever hear as a parent.”

Scans showed the tumor covering almost the entirety of the right side of Molly’s brain.

She was then blue-lighted to Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool where she had emergency surgery.

Corinne, from Flint, North Wales, UK, said: “I felt a huge relief when I was told the mass was removed."

"Molly had to spend time in the intensive care and the high dependency due to how much blood she lost during the procedure."

But Corrine quickly noticed differences in Molly's behavior - suggesting the surgery had been a success.

She said: "For the first time in her life, Molly laid on her back, staring out of the window, babbling.

"I was overcome with emotion as for the last three months she couldn’t be put down.

"It was amazing to see.

"Especially after being told, had we waited any longer, that would have likely been the last day of her life.”

This month, Molly is due to finish her year-long clinical trial treatment.

Happily, MRI scan results on January 3 2023 came back clear, with no further growth of the tumor.

However, treatment has left Molly with life-changing injuries and she now needs hearing aids.

Her mom is now campaigning with the charity Brain Tumour Research to raise awareness and support their mission to increase investment into research.

Corinne added: “According to Molly’s oncologist, this cancer can be cured but the evidence is minimal.

"Her specific cancer – ependymoma - has subtypes that have very different outcomes and behave differently.

"So whilst we have been assured that Molly's outcome is bright, it highlights there is a need for further research into brain tumors.

“From the evidence I have studied, this terrifies me.

"Molly will likely have MRI scans for the rest of her life as there is a possibility of the tumor returning.

"Despite the risks and uncertainty, she still has a chance and that offers me some respite.

"She’s recently learned to say ‘Mama’ which makes me smile every time I hear it.”

Mel Tiley, community, development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We’re grateful to Corinne for sharing Molly’s story and wish the family well as Molly nears the end of her treatment.

"Unfortunately Molly’s story is a reminder that brain tumors are indiscriminate and can affect anyone at any age.

It’s only by working together that we will be able to improve treatment options for patients and, ultimately, find a cure.”

One in three people knows someone affected by a brain tumor and they kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, according to Brain Tumour Research.

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