A seriously ill 12-year-old boy had his life saved when his mother Googled his symptoms after a hospital misdiagnosed a brain tumour, his parents revealed today.
Kian Jones needed an emergency operation at Birmingham Children’s Hospital after a 2.5cm cancerous tumour was discovered in October last year.
The schoolboy had started suffering persistent problems with vomiting, his vision and headaches during the summer.
But his furious parents, Dave and Sabina, say they took him to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on three separate occasions, where his condition was firstly dismissed as a stomach infection – and then as migraines.
Sabina, 31, revealed the tumour was only discovered in mid-October when she trusted her mother’s intuition and pleaded with medics to carry out a CT scan after Googling his symptoms on the internet.
Football-mad Kian was forced to undergo life-saving surgery to remove 96 per cent of the tumour – with a surgeon later telling the family he may not have survived another week.
Sabina, who lives with husband Dave, 34, Kian and his sisters Mya, eight, and Tia, five, in Shrewsbury, Shrops., questioned why the tumour was not found earlier.
She said: “I was on the computer Googling and looking up symptoms of persistent headaches and vomiting and the site said your GP would normally refer you for a CT scan to rule out anything serious.
“We were quite angry because we felt no one was listening to us.
“My husband did get angry and we did get a letter of apology from the doctor that said it was migraines.
“I can understand the first time when he went in. But for it to happen again with the same symptoms and him constantly being sick, I though they would do more tests.
“Had we not pushed for the scan, things could have been very different.
“I think that sometimes they are too quick to fob it off as something that is not important. It is a bit scary really.”
When he was first admitted to hospital on September 1 last year, Sabina said they were told by doctors Kian may have been suffering some form of gastroenteritis.
He is now on the road to recovery and undergoing regular chemotherapy as part of his treatment.
Sabina said the family would be attending a meeting with hospital bosses to discuss how the tumour was missed and to seek reassurances the problem will not happen again.
She added: “He is dealing with it amazingly. He is going to school all day every day, other than when he has got hospital appointments.
“He still sees his friends and he wants to try and get as much normality as he can. His school have been brilliant and his close friends have been brilliant.
“He absolutely loves football. Before this happened, he was constantly outside with a football, either playing at the Rec or playing for his school.
“They have said hopefully when it is all sorted, he will be able to play again.”
Hospital bosses yesterday refused to answer a serious of questions, including whether an apology has been issued or to explain why Kian was not given a CT scan earlier.
The trust also didn’t reveal if anyone had been disciplined over the incident, whether an investigation was taking place, if there had been similar cases of misdiagnosis recorded or what steps have been taken by the hospital to prevent a similar situation occurring again.
A spokesman for The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust said: “While we cannot comment specifically on this case, we can confirm that our priority is to make sure people have timely access to safe, high quality services when they need them.
“Brain tumours in children are very rare and can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can be similar to those that occur with other much more common and less serious childhood illnesses.
“We have invited the family to meet with the Trust to discuss their concerns and this offer remains open to them.”
Friends and family have already organised a charity fun day and a walk up Snowdon to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research.
They also hope to pay for a dream holiday to Florida for Kian – after the family were forced to cancel a planned trip to Mexico this summer due to his condition.