A young girl who’s made a fantastic recovery after being diagnosed with a brain tumour can’t wait to start secondary school this September.
Back in January, ten year old Lola Daley suddenly began to suffer from a series of seizures and debilitating headaches that lasted over several months and left her health in serious decline. After an MRI scan at Pinderfields diagnosed Lola with a brain tumour, she was referred to Leeds General Infirmary and later Sheffield’s Children Hospital, after struggling to get a date for surgery. Three weeks later, Lola had an eight hour operation in which expert neurosurgeon Mr Sinha removed a ping pong ball-sized tumour from her temporal lobe.
During her treatment, parents Lee and Gemma were supported by The Sick Children’s Trust when they were offered free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation at Treetop House, just minutes away from the ward where their daughter was undergoing lifesaving surgery. Dad Lee Daley says:
“For our family, home is over an hour’s drive away from the hospital, sometimes longer depending on the M1 and M62. We didn’t want to be stuck in traffic, desperately waiting to be with our daughter - we wanted to be right there with her, and that’s exactly what Treetop House enabled us to do.
“Although we only stayed three days, our room at Treetop meant that we could be by Lola’s side as soon as she was admitted into hospital and right up until the moment she was discharged. As parents, that was a really reassuring thought to hold onto during what was an otherwise extremely stressful time.
“The day of the operation was one of the most difficult days we’ve ever experienced. Lola went into the operating theatre at 9am, and we only got the call from the ward telling us she was out at five in the evening. That wait was excruciating. We felt so helpless. But knowing that we were just minutes away from our girl in case anything went wrong was an immense relief and source of comfort.”
Since being discharged Lola has gone from strength to strength, and this September she will be starting secondary school at Crofton Academy in Wakefield. Lee continues:
“After such a serious operation, we always expected Lola’s recovery to take time, but she’s astounded everyone by the way that she’s bounced back. After surgery on the Wednesday, she was back in school for a short time on Monday for the end-of-school performance rehearsals, and then again on Tuesday for two performances. She can’t wait to start high school now and show all her new friends her scar. I’m so proud of the way she’s handled everything, and all with a smile on her face.”
Each year, The Sick Children’s Trust supports around 4,000 families with seriously ill children in hospital and runs ten ‘Homes from Home’ across the country. Magnolia House and Treetop House are located at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, supporting an average 61 families every month. Although accommodation is free of charge for families, it costs the charity £30 to support a family for one night and it relies entirely on voluntary donations and fundraising. Treetop House Manager, Ann Wyatt adds:
“When a child is seriously ill in hospital, there’s nothing worse for a family than to be separated and we believe keeping families together makes a massive difference to a child’s recovery. I know it meant a lot for Lee to be with Lola during her treatment and whilst she was recovering in hospital reading or watching The Simpsons. It’s those little moments that help families to feel normal.
“We wish Lola the best of luck on her first day at secondary school - we know she’s going to continue to do everyone proud.”
For further information about The Sick Children’s Trust, please visit http://www.sickchildrenstrust.org/