Oct 22 2010 by Euan McLelland, Dumfries Standard Friday
Mum fundraising after daughter’s shock tumour find
DUMFRIES teenager Abbie McCallay is grateful for a horse-riding accident that left her with concussion.
The 14-year-old was taken to hospital for treatment after hitting her head when she was thrown from the saddle.
And during subsequent health checks doctors discovered that she had a brain tumour “the size of a fist”.
Abbie, from Georgetown, said: “Falling off the horse was the best thing that could have happened to me.”
Her mum Beverely added: “It was a completely accidental find. We were stunned.”
Abbie was initially sent home from hospital after being diagnosed with mild concussion from the fall.
But she complained of being unwell the next day and Beverley took her back for another check-up.
A consultant decided that she should have a Cat-scan.
Beverley, pictured with Abbie, told the Standard: “We had wee joke before she went in saying: ‘I wonder if they’ll find a brain in there!’
“Not for one minute did we think they’d find a brain tumour.”
She added: “When they took us into the interview room afterwards I knew straight away that something was wrong.
“I just couldn’t seem to take it in. I just kept thinking this isn’t the sort of thing that happens to me, this happens to people in magazines. I felt physically sick.”
When doctors discovered the tumour, they admitted Abbie to a ward at the infirmary for further examinations.
And she was then transferred to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.
Two days later, she went under the knife.
Beverley said: “The tumour was benign but they were more worried that it could affect Abbie’s sight.
“They cut open the back of the skull in a horseshoe shape like a flap, opened up the skull and lifted it out. The surgeon said it was the size of a fist.
“She could have gone on to have a seizure or a stroke had it not been found.”
Beverley, who works at Dumfries Infirmary, is now dedicating her spare time to help raise the £220,000 required for the Edinburgh hospital to buy a new piece of state-of-the-art brain surgery equipment as well as other life-saving devices.
“Everything at Edinburgh was brilliant. They offered so much help,” she said.
“When you see your own child along with all these other children so unwell in hospital it just hits home. You think it doesn’t happen to you but it does. The Medtronic machine creates a 3D image that helps doctors fully examine the brain.”
Dubbed the sat-nav of brain surgery, the Medtronic could benefit more than 100 children a year at the hospital.
To fundraise, Beverley organised a children’s charity cycle at Dock Park at the weekend, which raised just under £450.
Her husband is getting his legs and chest waxed at Green’s pub on November 26 and a race-night and charity ball are also upcoming.
Maureen Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of the Edinburgh Sick Kids Friends Foundation, said: “We are close now to being able to pay for the new piece of equipment and are very grateful to Beverley, Abbey and all their friends and family for the help they have given.
“We are delighted that the people of Dumfries and Galloway are supporting the Foundation as so many children and their families from the area benefit from the extra comfort, medical equipment and research available at the hospital.”