Brave George's battle against tumour

WHEN you see toddler George Taylor running around it's hard to believe that just over a year ago he had a tumour the size of an apple removed from his brain.

Craig Robinson

WHEN you spend time with toddler George Taylor it's hard to believe that just over a year ago he had a tumour the size of an apple removed from his brain.

The brave three-year-old is a bundle of energy and seems to be well on the way to recovery - chatting with friends and running around with a huge smile on his face.

But for his parents Louisa and Michael, who live in Playford Road, Ipswich, the last 12 months have been a bit of a rollercoaster.

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The frightening string of events started in May last year when George, who was two at the time, had a fit in the back of the car.

He was rushed to Colchester General Hospital and later transferred to Ipswich, where doctors discovered the benign tumour.

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The courageous youngster was then moved to Addenbrookes in Cambridge for a seven-hour operation during which neurosurgeons removed the growth.

Mrs Taylor, 28, said: “He had a fit in the back of the car. We were driving to a family barbecue and I just turned around and saw his head was shaking. I thought he was having a stroke.

“We were devastated - we just couldn't believe it. He was completely happy and there was nothing to suggest he was growing any differently to our two daughters. We didn't know anything was wrong at all.

“He was in Ipswich for a week and they did an MRI scan and discovered a large tumour the size of an apple on the right side of his brain. The operation lasted for seven hours but after that we were allowed home and as far as we know he has made a full recovery.

“George has to go back for another scan in a year's time just to check that the tumour hasn't re-grown but fortunately it was benign. To look at him now you wouldn't believe what he's gone through - he's extremely lively and is always running around. He was very lucky because when he was in hospital he lost the feeling down his left side - the doctors thought he could be paralysed. However the surgeons found it easy to take the tumour out, we couldn't believe it really.”

During George's six weeks at Addenbrookes, Mr and Mrs Taylor, who have been married since 2002, were able to stay at nearby Acorn House, which is run by the Sick Children's Trust charity.

It is a fully equipped centre - with individual beds, a kitchen and bathrooms - and ensured the family could be at his side throughout his recovery.

The couple were so impressed with the free-of-charge facilities that they approached Broke Hall Community Primary School in Ipswich - where George's sisters Madeline, seven and Lydia-Rose, six, are pupils - to ask if they would raise money for the charity.

Mrs Taylor said: “Without Acorn House we would have had to have kept coming home every night and we would have forever been travelling backwards and forwards.

“However because we were able to stay it made life a lot easier and it was great for George. If he was awake in the night and crying we were there for him. Our daughters were too young to really understand what was happening but they would come up and visit.

“We were so grateful for the support that we received that when we got back I contacted the school to ask if they would consider raising money for the Sick Children's Trust.”

Headteacher Richard Griffiths was only too happy to help out and organised a non-uniform day, which raised nearly £1,000.

“It's nice to be able to support a charity that has some connection with our children,” he said. “George's sisters are both pupils here and George also attends our Heathlands nursery. It gives the cause a sense of reality as far as the children are concerned because it is about someone they know.”

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