Baby with brain tumor ‘hours from death’ after doctors dismissed swollen head as ‘normal baby stuff’

A three-month-old girl with an undiagnosed brain tumor was left ‘hours away from death’ after doctors dismissed her swollen head as ‘normal baby stuff’, her mother says.

Molly Mai Wardle-Hampton began experiencing seizures weeks after being born and her mother, 37-year-old nurse Corrine, took her to the GP who dismissed her concerns multiple times.

Corrine, who lives in north Wales with her partner, Paul, said under different circumstances, her daughter “would have ended up with severe brain damage or it probably would have killed her”.

Molly’s head became swollen and she was struggling to move her eyes freely after her visit to the GP, but when the mother-of-three went again, she was told there was nothing to worry about and felt home.

Molly’s mum, Corrine, said she was “in shock” and “went numb” upon learning about her daughter’s tumor.

(Corinne Wardle/SWNS)

In February, Molly’s health deteriorated to which Corrine rushed her to the A&E department at the Countess of Chester Hospital, where she works.

After being transferred immediately by ambulance to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, a scan revealed the baby had a large brain tumor.

It revealed that there was fluid putting pressure on her brain and eyes and if they didn’t operate within immediately, Molly would have died within 24 hours.

“I think in that moment I just went numb,” said Corrine. “I don’t think I’ve processed it properly yet, we’re still in shock. You just never expect that it’s going to happen to you.”

Molly then underwent a three-hour operation to remove the tumor which had spread to three-quarters of her brain.

She has since been diagnosed with ependymoma – a rare cancer affecting the brain and spine.

Her mother said she noticed potential issues with her daughters health very early on.

“We noticed that her head was quite big, we had noticed this from her six-week appointment at the GP,” she said. “Ella She always looked right, ella she could n’t look left, that was brought up too. She was vomiting and being unsettled.

“Later, we saw that her head had continued to grow and her eyes were going in opposite direction – this was because of the intercranial pressure.”

After her daughter was admitted to Alder Hey Hospital, things progressed rapidly.

“We were blue-lighted to Alder Hey and her head size had now gone from the chart. She had this big mass in her head and the rest was covered in fluid-that was what was pushing on her eye nerves.

“The diagnosis of the mass was discovered on February 1 and we were in surgery the next day. Six days later we were told she had ependymoma cancer.”

Molly quickly underwent a grueling three-hour-long surgery to remove parts of her tumor.

(Corinne Wardle/SWNS)

Corrine said things could’ve turned out much worse.

She said: “My partner keeps saying to me now, ‘if you hadn’t kept pushing, she’d be dead by now,’ which is so scary.

“It was very frustrating because I knew something wasn’t right but I kept being told by the doctors that it was normal baby stuff. It was missed by many of them.”

Molly has since returned home and is undergoing chemotherapy twice a week to tackle the remaining tumor, but it’s been difficult for the family.

Corrine said: “She’s only 14 weeks now and we’ve got a whole year of chemotherapy to come. The likelihood is she is going to end up with ulcers, she she’s going to end up in a lot of pain and lethargic, ”she added.

“She can’t tell me that her tummy hurts, or that her skins itchy and feeling horrible. Ella she’s going to be in absolute agony.”

A fundraising page for the family has already raised more than £1,600.

Corinne added: “In a time when there is so much negativity, you have all shown me how wonderful people can be.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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