Send your messages of love to this brave little girl as she faces her 11th brain operation

A courageous girl is facing the 11th operation on her brain in four years.

Saturday, 16th January 2021, 7:00 am

Lyla O’Donovan, eight, who has spent a quarter of her life in hospital, will have to go in once more to have an ICP bolt (Intercranial Pressure) inserted into her skull. It will have a fibre optic cable attached which will push through to test the pressure on her brain.

Although no date has yet been set for the operation, the latest procedure comes after Lyla had an increased number of seizures. Consultants want to find out what’s causing them.

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Lyla O'Donovan with her dad Paul.

Dad Paul O’Donovan, who comes from Hartlepool, urged people in the town to send messages of support to his daughter who has faced a constant round of operations and tests ever since she was first diagnosed.

"When you add up how many hospital appointments and stays she has had, and how many nights she has had to spend out of her own bed, you are looking at two years in hospital and for an eight year old, that’s a quarter of her life,” he said.

But Lyla loves to hear about all the people who are backing her, especially those who follow her progress through the Lyla’s Brain Tumour Journey page on Facebook. She sends them messages to tell them she is okay after her latest hospital stay.

"When she is in hospital, she reads through her page and the comments from people. We think it might give her comfort.

Lyla O'Donovan during a visit to hospital this week.

"We praise her but when she gets praise from strangers as well, she wants to make them proud even more.

"We are not asking for money. It only takes a few seconds to write something. The support that Lyla gets is unbelievable and we can not thank people enough for it.”

But she never stops thinking of others and launched a project to help other children who have to face up to needles and operations in hospital and organised 500 stress balls to be sent to other poorly children.

Lyla loves to hear messages of support from the public.

Paul, who is married to Kirsty, is also dad to Henry, Olivia, Lilley and Reece. The the family now lives in Ushaw Moor, near Durham.

He explained more about the forthcoming procedure: “It is a bolt that screws through the front of the skull and a fibre optic cable is pushed through to test for pressure that Lyla gets when she is agitated.”

During the same hospital stay, Paul said Lyla will have a lot of tests and they will provoke a seizure where they might find out more on the cause of the seizures.

The aim will be to find out whether they are having an effect on her tumour and causing her brain damage, and whether Lyla faces more surgery.

Lyla O'Donovan who has spent a quarter of her life in hospital since she was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

But if they are not affecting Lyla’s brain, there is a possibility she could go without further surgery and live a life with seizures, said her dad.

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