Scots parents left ‘broken’ as tot goes blind in one eye after cancer diagnosis

A Scots family have been left ‘broken’ after their four-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a tumour that led to her losing her sight in one eye.

Emma Renwick’s daughter Lucy has pilocytic Astrocytoma grade 1, a slow growing tumour that can’t be removed due to its location.

Lucy, who is undergoing 18 months of gruelling chemotherapy, has lost sight in one eye due to the tumour and is being closely monitored in order to protect the sight in her other eye.

Lucy with mum Emma, dad, Neil and brother Daniel.

Emma, who stays in East Calder with husband Neil and Lucy’s eight-year-old brother Daniel, first noticed worrying signs after Lucy slowly stopped drinking, eating and going to the toilet around April last year.

She took the tot to the GP for answers when she began to quickly lose weight and was banging her head with her hand but was told it was a behavioural issue.

Emma said: “They took bloods, told me she was healthy and I was to stop talking about her eating etc in front of her. It was a behavioural issue. It just didn’t sit right with me, I knew something was up, I didn’t expect this though.

“We’d also noticed an intermittent squint in her eye. The on-call GP said he couldn’t see the squint so I was to take her to an optician.

“Because of covid, it was around seven to 14 days for an appointment. We then noticed the squint more that weekend.

“We called the GP on Monday October 26. Again, they weren’t that interested. My husband even asked if it could be a brain tumour, naturally we’d Googled all her symptoms.

“After that, the GP said we could ask for an emergency appointment at an optician. All the usual ones couldn’t see us. But we then found Margaret Best’s in Juniper Green.”

Little Lucy shocked her parents after revealing she was blind in one eye and was rushed to the Sick Kids where doctors discovered a tumour in her brain.

Emma continued: “We explained everything. She stayed back that day to see Lucy. When Lucy said she couldn’t see anything out her eye we both froze.

“Margaret did further tests and I know now that she seen no blood supply to Lucy’s eye. My GPs wouldn’t help Margaret so she ended up calling the Sick Kids herself who insisted we go in that night.

“Lucy had an MRI first thing on Tuesday and while still in the machine we were told she had a golf ball sized tumour in her brain, that was likely cancer.

“The next day Lucy had a biopsy and a ventricular shunt fitted to drain a build up of fluid in her brain.

“It was horrendous. They told us it was in the worst place because it was beside the optic nerves and main blood vessels in her brain.

“The 10 day wait for the results were without a doubt the worst days of our live so far. We were told it wasn’t cancer, it’s the most common type of brain tumour in children. If it was anywhere else it would be removed.”

Emma and her husband Neil, from West Lothian, have been left “totally heartbroken that this is her life now”.

Scots parents left 'broken' as tot goes blind in one eye after cancer diagnosis
Lucy began to show symptoms in April last year.

Describing Lucy as an “incredibly brave and resilient girl”, she added: “We are so proud of how she is dealing with it all. She is our little warrior.”

Emma has praised staff at the Lochranza Ward/Daycare at the Royal Hospital for Children and Young people in Edinburgh and the Young Lives vs Cancer charity, who offered the family vital support.

She said: “If you can give any of your spare time, to help families like us going through one of the worst times of our lives, then please do. The support given by charities like YLVC is invaluable.

The couple, along with family and friends, has already raised over £5,000 for the charity’s Jog50 August fundraiser to say thank you.

You can find more information about all of the ways to get involved this Childhood Cancer Awareness Month here.

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