A little girl from Bures is thought to be one of the first in the world to undergo a pioneering treatment on an inoperable brain tumour.
On May 3, the parents of Daisy Brooks were dealt the crushing blow that their six-year-old daughter, Daisy, had a rare brainstem tumour.
Daisy’s particular form of tumour is particularly uncommon, with only 20 or 30 children a year diagnosed. The prognosis is poor, with almost all patients, who are mainly children, dying within 18 months of diagnosis.
“We were told the next day that there is no cure and no child has recovered,” said Daisy’s father Louis.
Straight away, Mr Brooks and his wife, Anna, set about researching the illness.
They discovered the Functional Neurosurgery Research Group, which was undertaking pioneering work at Southmead Hospital in Bristol, and took the difficult decision for Daisy to have surgery for an experimental new treatment.
This involved a new method of delivering chemotherapy drugs directly into inoperable tumours.
In July, the Bures Primary School pupil underwent a successful operation to fit a catheter drug delivery method directly around the “ivy-like” tumour, and the first round of chemotherapy was delivered.
Having recently had the second round of the drug, it is too early to tell how successful the treatment has been or will be, but Mr Brooks said the part Daisy is playing in the research is no less important.
“Whatever happens with Daisy, the good thing is she will be part of a process for a cure one day,” he said.
“The technique could be used for other areas to infuse drugs into the brain, potentially helping conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
“As far as we know, she is the first girl in the world to have this treatment. It’s such a devastating condition and these guys have given us some hope when there wasn’t any.”
Despite undergoing radiotherapy and brain surgery, the father-of-two said Daisy had “never moaned”.
“She loves being at school, even if it’s only for part of the day,” he said.