Little boy diagnosed with rare brain tumor became The Christie’s youngest ever patient – then a miracle happened

He became The Christie’s youngest ever patient at just 18-months-old when he was tragically diagnosed with a rare brain tumor.

But thanks to a miracle breakthrough in cancer treatment, Teddy Slade has just celebrated his fourth birthday.

He is now living the happy childhood every family wishes for.

Teddy was just 18-months old when medics discovered he had a rare brain tumor in June 2019, which would require intensive rounds of treatment as well as surgery.

Little Teddy quickly became the youngest ever patient at The Christie hospital in Withington, one of the leading cancer treatment centers across the whole of Europe.

Teddy Slade with mum, Amy, and dad, Dan

Teddy’s family, including mum Amy, dad Dan, were left terrified by the news.

“A diagnosis like Teddy’s is terrifying and devastating,” said Amy.

“It was a huge shock when Teddy was diagnosed as he was so young and to be told he had a brain tumor was absolutely heartbreaking.”

Just weeks after the shocking diagnosis, Teddy began treatment in July 2019.

The toddler had an operation to remove the tumor, followed by pioneering proton beam therapy at The Christie for six-and-a-half weeks.

Proton beam therapy is a specialist form of radiotherapy that targets cancers very precisely, increasing success rates and reducing side effects.

According to the cancer unit, this makes proton therapy an ideal treatment for certain cancers in children who are at risk of lasting damage to organs that are still growing.

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Christie’s Hospital

Thankfully, this cutting edge treatment had arrived in the UK just in time for Teddy.

Proton beam therapy was offered overseas to NHS eligible patients for treatment in England since 2008, but it was only when the center opened at The Christie that patients could be treated in the UK.

The dual treatment was a success, and today, Teddy only requires regular checkups to monitor his progress.

“The proton beam center at The Christie is a place of hope,” continued Amy.

“The staff at The Christie are amazing and the care Teddy and the support our whole family received there was first-class. We are so very lucky to have this life-saving medical technology in Manchester.”

Teddy’s treatment was a success and he’s now enjoying pre-school

Teddy, who lives in Stockport with mum and dad, is now enjoying pre-school and living a full and normal life with his two older siblings, Lottie, 17, and Charlie 14.

His grandmother, Anthea, also lives locally and the family are excited to watch Teddy continue to make progress and enjoy his life.

Teddy is now helping The Christie to celebrate the three year anniversary of the UK’s first NHS high energy center where he was treated, based at the hospital.

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Teddy’s consultant at The Christie, Gillian Whitfield, said: “It is great to see Teddy doing so well and we were thrilled to be able to help him at the center near his home here at The Christie.

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“Being able to give patients like Teddy proton beam therapy is wonderful as it not only reduces the side effects of the treatment but also means his family did not have to travel abroad as many did before the NHS opened the center here in Manchester.”

Following the opening of The Christie’s £125 million center in late 2018, a second has now opened at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in 2021. Up to 1,300 patients will be treated across both sites each year.

Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive of NHS England, said: “Since Teddy received the first NHS proton beam therapy treatment at The Christie, over 700 patients in the UK including 300 children, have benefited from this pioneering treatment.

“In the last few months we have also opened a second center at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, meaning even more patients now have access to this world-class, cutting-edge care for cancer.

“This is a major milestone for the NHS and marks the completion of our plans to deliver PBT therapy in the UK and radically transform cancer treatment across the country.”

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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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