Mum’s gut instinct to show doctors baby’s eyes led to lemon-sized tumour find

A doctor saved a baby boy's life after his mum felt 'in her stomach' something was wrong.

Little 10-month-old Max was thought to have had a viral infection when first taken to hospital for vomiting and rolling his eyes.

But Max's parents Keira and Tony Johnson returned just two days later when a closer look revealed he had a potentially deadly brain tumour, the size of a lemon.

Following successful removals of the tumour, poor Max has suffered from it growing back twice.

Now as their son battles on in hospital, the Johnsons hope to raise awareness and push for a cure, the LiverpoolEcho reports.

Doctors initially diagnosed Max as having a viral infection that would last up to ten days.

But Kiera, 38, returned to hospital just two days later after 'feeling in her stomach' something was wrong.

According to doctors, it was the decision to take her son back on October 3, 2017, that saved his life.

Kiera from Lydiate, Merseyside told the Echo: "At first they thought it was some kind of water infection but after I showed them a video of what his eyes were doing they took him for a CT scan.

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"When they came back they told us they found a 6cm mass on his brainstem and we were transferred to Alder Hey Children's Hospital.

"Our lives fell apart."

After being transferred to Alder Hey, Max was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour called ependymoma, which is a cancer mostly seen in children.

Due to an excessive brain fluid build-up, Max deteriorated extremely fast within days of being diagnosed.

On October 6, 2017, Max had life-saving brain surgery to remove the tumour and four weeks later was allowed to go home for one day.

Little Max had 28 doses and seven cycles of chemotherapy over the next year, but the tumour returned in March 2019, with Kiera saying their happiness was 'short-lived'.

After undergoing proton beam treatment, it returned a further two times in January 2021 and again last month.

The family began researching alternative treatments, therapies and diets that could help stop the tumour coming back again.

Since then the family has been 'hitting brick walls' as practices overseas are not taking patients from abroad due to coronavirus.

Max is still in Alder Hey and is being his "cheeky and chatty self" and bantering with the nurses on the ward.

Max's family are now searching for answers and hoping to raise awareness with his Facebook and Instagram on the rare form of cancer while looking to find anyone else in the world who may be in the same position.

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