Mum told son had food poisoning – months later he died of cancer
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A young boy tragically died after his eye pain and vomiting turned out to be stage 4 cancer.
Doctors originally mistook Charlie Carter’s symptoms for food poisoning.
However, after his parents insisted on a brain scan and biopsy, it was discovered he had glioblastoma multiforme grade 4, the most aggressive and malignant tumour.
Charlie, who lived with his family in Edgware, London, died from the aggressive tumour a few years ago, and his parents are today supporting a centre aiming to find a cure for the deadliest childhood cancers, reports My London.
Charlie first told his mum Karen he felt unwell aged five in a “random episode” in the summer of 2009 when he came down from his bed crying in pain.
Due to his projectile vomiting, his parents took him to A&E, who sent him home with a food-poisoning diagnosis.
In the weeks that followed, he developed episodes of severe eye pain and again would vomit.
Eye tests and blood tests did not show any anything abnormal but his mum was becoming increasingly worried when he started vomiting every day.
But after a brain scan and a biopsy, it tragically revealed that Charlie had glioblastoma multiforme grade 4.
Karen said upon hearing the diagnosis: “Charlie’s dad was angry with the medics for missing it so many times.
“I remember the feeling of utter despair. I can’t even explain the feeling – it was the most horrendous pain.
“This couldn’t be happening to our Charlie, to us – it’s only something you read or hear about.”
Charlie underwent surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy but died eight months later aged just six, despite his parents battling to find a cure.
Karen added: “In desperation, we contacted different hospitals around the world for help and got second opinions, but it seemed no one could change the outcome.
“We spent hours and hours searching for a cure for our little boy with doors slamming in our faces everywhere we turned.
“It was exhausting and draining but we were desperately looking for a cure.
“Charlie knew he had a lump in his head and the doctors were trying to shrink it.
“He never complained, although he did ask: ‘Why me, mum?’ a couple of times.
“We tried to explain that sometimes things happen and we all have to be strong. I promised him he would get better as that’s what we believed.”
She has this week, March 20, welcomed news that Brain Tumour Research has awarded a £2.5 million grant to The Institute of Cancer Research to open a new centre.
Located in Sutton the new centre has ambitious plans to identify new treatments for high-grade glioma brain tumours occurring in children and young people – including the type of tumour Charlie died from, glioblastoma (GBM).
The median survival for the vast majority of these tumours is just nine to 18 months.
Dr Karen Noble, director of research, policy and innovation at Brain Tumour Research, said: “The aim is this work will lead to trials within the next five years so we can give real hope to families in the future.
“The current situation means that people, already facing the most distressing circumstances, often have no option but to search for and fund trials abroad with all the expense, upheaval and uncertainty that brings.”
For Karen and the rest of the family, they said losing Charlie changed their lives forever and does not get any easier no matter how long it has been.
Karen described Charlie as a “funny, clever” six-year-old who was popular at his school, Broadfields in Edgware.
Charlie was a huge Adam Sandler fan and had a special love of rhinos which were his favourite animals, his mum added.
He enjoyed dressing up as his favourite superheroes, especially Spiderman.
His favourite singer was Michael Jackson and he used to practice his dance moves over and over again.
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