Boy, 5, who kept falling over and dribbling turns out to have incurable brain tumor


Albie Korinek, 5, from London, was on holiday with his family in Greece in October last year when he started repeatedly falling over, dribbling and complaining of being tired more often

Albie Korinek, five, started repeatedly falling over while on holiday in October last year
Albie Korinek, pictured with mum Justyna Mackowska, started repeatedly falling over while on holiday in October last year

A family has been left devastated after learning their son’s sudden clumsiness was caused by an incurable brain tumor.

Doctors initially thought Albie Korinek, 5, was repeatedly falling over due to Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) – a condition that can be treated with medication.

But some days after his initial diagnosis, a nurse called his parents with the “heartbreaking” news that the hospital had made a mistake – and that five-year-old Albie actually had a terminal brain tumor.

Albie’s parents first noticed something wasn’t right when he started falling over while on a family holiday to Greece in October last year.

Dad Alois Korinek said Albie was also dribbling, and complaining of being tired more often than usual – but said he never imagined it could be caused by anything more than a minor issue, My London reports.

After speaking with his teacher, Albie’s parents discovered he was frequently zoning out in class, so they booked him in for an appointment with their GP.

If you want to help Albie and his family, you can help fundraise on their GoFundMe page here.

Doctors initially told Albie’s parents he had a condition that could be treated with medication
(

Image:

Alois Korinek)

Immediately, the Acton family were told to take him to A&E where he underwent brain scans to assess what was causing the symptoms that Albie simply described as an “ouchy.”

Al and mum Justyna Mackowska were then thrown into limbo while they waited for two days for the results.

Heartbreakingly, they were initially told that his condition – Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) – could be fixed with medication. Al, 46, described the moment he thought his son’s condition was treatable.

He said: “We went for two days, the longest two days of our lives. We were waiting and they came back to us and they said, ‘luckily, it’s something that we can just deal with using medication, we don’t have to operate or anything like that.'”

He added: “We were in Isleworth by the Thames, and I just went down there and said ‘thank God for that. Thank God for that’. I was just sat by the river and it was just a blessing, saying thank you so much.”

However, they were told there had been a mistake at the hospital and that Albie instead had an incurable brain tumor.

Al described hearing the devastating news.

He said: “I was just walking home at the time and I was just screaming saying, ‘no, no, no, no, no, no.’ It’s just honestly heartbreaking.


A nurse later told them there had been a mistake and Albie actually had an incurable brain tumor
(

Image:

Alois Korinek)

He added: “The nurse or doctor who was telling us, she just started crying herself. She was just saying, ‘I’m so so sorry’.”

The news was a second blow to the family as just a month prior, Justyna’s father had passed away in Poland and they canceled Christmas to fly out. Al and Justyna have split up but, following the devastation, Al has moved back in to spend time with Albie and try to survive their “worst nightmare.”

When described how his friend had summed up their trauma: “Even if you had the best luck in the world for the next 20 years, it would still only come out as average.”

The five-year-old has now received 13 sessions of radiotherapy and can have more rounds in six months. Covid restrictions meant that only one parent was able to sit with him while he underwent treatment.

However, wise-cracking Albie found a way to make Al feel better for missing the sessions. Al recalled: “I said, ‘Alright Albie, there’s only one parent allowed and you chose mum.’ And he said, ‘Er, but that’s because you need to stay at home and look after the goldfish’.”

Similarly, when they visited the 11th floor of University College London Hospitals, Albie told his dad: “You need to stay home because you don’t like heights.”

Al recalled multiple anecdotes proving what a special child Albie really is.

At three years old, he was demonstrating signs of a photographic memory as he could recall all the Tube stops they would visit from East Acton in a day.

He enjoys watching films, like Paddington, and was even lucky enough to watch Spider-Man: No Way Home in a private screening on account of his love of the superhero – though Al did not realize it was a 12-rated movie beforehand.

Albie’s family are now trying to raise funds for him to undergo experimental treatments abroad
(

Image:

Alois Korinek)

Now, the family is desperately raising funds for experimental treatments abroad and other methods to extend Albie’s life, which are not available on the NHS.

Germany offers a £5,000 per month treatment which hopes to shrink the tumour. The family is currently waiting for a biopsy report to see if Albie is eligible.

Justyna and Al are determined to do all they can to give their son the best chance at life. “I’m not giving up,” said Al.

He describes him as “the most amazing, funny, happy, hilarious, kid,” and his “best friend by a million miles.”

Family and friends have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the treatments so that as soon as he is accepted onto a programme, they have the funds to afford to drop everything and fly him wherever he needs to go.

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www.mirror.co.uk

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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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