All clear for Hartlepool brain tumour victim, 6

Josh Dawson pictured with mum Michaela.
Josh Dawson pictured with mum Michaela.

A SIX-YEAR-OLD boy struck down by a brain tumour has been given the all clear by medics.

Scans revealed Seaton Carew schoolboy Josh Dawson is clear of the tumour, to the delight of his family.

Medics also told Josh’s mum Michaela that a build up of fluids in a sac in his brain is shrinking.

Relieved Michaela, who was with Josh’s dad Shaun Wright, 47, when she heard the fantastic news, said: “It was the best news ever when the doctor said there was no sign of anything.”

But she added that Josh is not out of the woods yet, with a high chance that the tumour could return.

But, for now the family are overjoyed that almost a year since being diagnosed with an ependymoma, a rare tumour of the brain’s support cells that affects just 450 people in the UK each year, the Holy Trinity Primary School pupil is in the clear.

He faced a fight for survival and underwent life-saving surgery to remove the majority of the tumour last October and then had daily doses of radiotherapy at the RVI, which ended in December.

The community got behind Josh and his family after the Mail told of his condition and reported that a fundraising drive was launched to send him to Legoland Florida after his gruelling treatment.

Josh, who is back at school full-time, got to visit the Windsor-based Legoland attraction last month and is now preparing to visit the US version, after kind-hearted supporters raised £12,000.

Former school caterer Michaela, 47, said Josh had his three-monthly MRI scan on Thursday morning at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, almost a year since being treated at the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, for what was initially thought to be a viral bug.

Michaela and Shaun were on tenterhooks until the afternoon when a doctor delivered the amazing news.

“We didn’t have any idea that it might be clear,” she said.

“Every scan, you just hope there’s nothing showing up.”

She said in the previous scan, the sac of fluid showed up, and medics were unsure what it was and said they would monitor it.

Doctors now say the fluid could be radiation damage, and the good news is the sac is shrinking.

The family, which celebrated with a pub meal last night, had affectionately nicknamed the brave youngster and the tumour Mr Lumpyhead due to his condition and Michaela said: “Josh knows Mr Lumpyhead hasn’t come back and is still sitting on the shelf in the RVI.”

She said there were tears when she broke the news over the phone to her daughter, Steph Burns, 21.

For future treatment, Josh, whose symptoms began with crippling headaches, will take paracetemol as and when he needs it and will visit the RVI every two months for check-ups.

Michaela said there is a 70 per cent chance that the tumour might return and admitted: “We are always going to be conscious whenever he gets a cough, cold or headache.”

But she added: “We are just over the month that this scan is clear.”

Family friend John Rogers, 45, who did Miles for Men with Josh in July and led the fundraising drive, with wife Joanne, said: “It’s the best news we’ve had this year.

“I’m just thankful we’ve had good news for a change, we’re feeling very happy at the moment.”