Megan McIntosh, 9, has endured two years of operations (Image: DCT Media)
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A mum is raising £35,000 for treatment to save the life of her nine-year-old daughter who’s survived two tumours and a near-fatal heart attack.
Megan McIntosh has endured two years of operations, had to re-learn how to walk, talk and sleep, is blind in one eye, is fed by a tube and faces a huge struggle to reach adulthood.
Mum Michelle Reid, from Aberdeen, hopes to send her “inspirational little girl” to America for proton beam therapy, a targeted treatment which could rid her of both growths.
Megan’s life changed two years ago when doctors realised, after months of pleading from Michelle, that she was living with a ganglioglioma posterior fossa tumour in her brain stem.
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“Her eye had been swollen and… doctors kept trying to palm me off saying it was nothing,” Michelle said.
The community nurse persisted though, and in December 2018 tests eventually confirmed her worst fears.
Michelle said: “They had found a 125mm tumour at the back of her head. We were told we were going to Edinburgh Sick Kids Hospital in the morning.
Meghan's tumour is continuing to grow
(Image: DCT Media)
“They did a scan of her eye and the tumour looked like an overgrown orange.”
A 13-hour operation successfully removed 97% of the benign tumour.
“We got the call to say she was out of surgery,” Michelle added.
“I walked in and just saw my poor lifeless little girl covered in tubes and wires.
“But she took her mask off and started telling me about how there was a cannula in her foot, then her heart stopped.
Megan has told her mum she wants to go back to school
(Image: DCT Media)
“I saw the colour drain from her face. They resuscitated her but it was then we realised how ill she was after the surgery.”
She spent the next eight weeks, including Christmas and her birthday, in intensive care in Edinburgh, learning to walk and talk again.
A form of bulbar palsy left her unable to eat and drink, meaning she needed a feeding tube. She was left unable to sleep unaided as her brain struggled to remind her body to breathe.
Emily Davidson, Megan, Michelle, Charlie Davidson, 5, and Maddison Davidson, 12
(Image: DCT Media)
Worse was to come, though, when she told her mum: “I don’t know who you are.”
Michelle said: “Her stitches had burst. She was confused and insisted I wasn’t her mum.”
After five months in hospital, Megan was home, and with just 3% of the low-grade benign tumour left the family could finally look to the future.
Megan returned to Walker Road Primary School in Torry, assured that the tumour was unlikely to grow drastically.
“She was getting better and better – until last month when her six-monthly scan showed the tumour had grown again by around 9-10mm.
Doctors have ruled out chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and told Michelle that Megan “is a terminally ill child and not going to live a long life”.
Not giving up though, Megan’ s family are determined to raise the £35,000 needed to take her to America for proton beam therapy, a targeted treatment which could rid her of both growths.
“Megan has told me she is tired and she doesn’t want to do it any more,” Michelle added. “If that doesn’t work she doesn’t want to do anything else.”
A fundraising page set up has already raised more than £ 7,000. Meanwhile, Megan has insisted on returning to school, despite being peg fed and being blind in her right eye.
“Everybody who meets Megan says how inspirational she is,” Michelle added.
People can donate online at uk.gofundme.com/f/27fjtbq2o0