A brave young boy has become the first Scottish person to undergo a pioneering cancer treatment in America.
When Aeden Harriet, from Bonhill, began complaining of a sore back and neck, his mother initially put it down to nothing more than growing pains. However, after the nine year-old collapsed at school, the doctors revealed he had a life-threatening brain tumor the size of a tennis ball, which was stopping vital spinal fluids reaching his brain. “He was complaining on and off about a pain in his neck and I would see him wince sometimes. One night he woke up screaming in pain. […] The following day he went to school and I was called to say he had collapsed”, said Linsey Rhodes, Aedan’s mum. She decided to take him to the hospital and was told later that day that her son had a brain tumor.
After a nine-hour operation in the UK, 60% of the tumor was removed, but as Aedan’s future was still uncertain, he was referred to the ProCure Proton Therapy Clinic in Oklahoma, US by the NHS (National Health Service) to have a ground breaking proton therapy treatment. After nine weeks of a life-changing treatment, the tumor seems to have completely disappeared.
Now that he’s home and getting back on his feet, Aedan has been enjoying spending time with his new dog Doodles. Linsey added: “He is taking a lot of medication including steroids, so he has gained some weight. But the doctors advised us to get a dog and he has been taking him out for exercise every day. They have a great bond and love spending time together.”
It can take up to two years to see the full effect of the treatment and the tumor could return, so Aedan’s mum is taking everything one day at a time. She added: “It’s a long journey ahead of him, however, so far he hasn’t had any side-effects from the surgery. It is horrible knowing it could grow back, but he’s got plenty of energy now and it’s great that he’s doing so well.”