A girl who was supposed to be “short for her age” was found to have a brain tumor that was stunting her growth.
Jane O’Toole took Faith to the GP after noticing that her daughter was much shorter than her friends. But the 13-year-old, from Preston, was shunned and told she needed time to grow up.
When Faith’s height had not changed a year later, Jane returned and the teen was referred for further evaluation.
A blood test indicated that something wasn’t quite right with Faith, so she was referred for an MRI.
Faith was eventually diagnosed with craniopharyngioma, a rare, non-cancerous brain tumor.
Doctors thought Faith O’Toole was short for her age, but the teen discovered she had a rare brain tumor. After a nine-hour surgery, the young woman was left without vision in her left eye.
Jane O’Toole took Faith to the GP after noticing her daughter was much shorter than her friends, but the 13-year-old, from Preston, was turned away and told she needed time to grow up.
The tumor, which is believed to have been with her all her life, it had grown through his optic nerve and around his pituitary gland, a pea-sized gland located at the base of the brain that releases hormones that control height.
Tumors that press on the pituitary gland can cause too little growth hormone to be released, which can lead to stunted height, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Faith required a grueling nine-hour surgery to remove the tumor.
Jane, who is just 5ft 2in, said: ‘You never, ever think it’s going to happen to you. It’s amazing how it happens.
“We were lucky because we managed to get through it, but if we hadn’t, he could have lost his sight completely.”
“Everything could have been much worse, but they believe the tumor was there from the moment Faith was conceived.”
After checkups and a bone scan revealed that Faith was showing signs of developmental delay in November 2022, she was referred to a specialist.
Three months later, an MRI detected a tumor in his brain.
Faith had to wait another four months before she was finally taken into surgery, her original procedure having been canceled a month earlier.
Faith had to wait another four months before she was operated on; her original procedure a month earlier was cancelled.
Faith has now recovered from meningitis and is in the hospital recovering from her surgery.
He woke up seeing nothing in his left eye.
“It was absolutely horrible,” added Jane, 45.
“After the surgery, they came to me and said they were concerned that I might be completely blind as the tumor had gone all the way through the optic nerve.
“I remembered something Faith told me before the operation: ‘I’d rather be dead than blind.'”
faith was Diagnosed with meningitis, an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord, after a follow-up operation.
Without urgent treatment, it can cause sepsis, a life-threatening complication and permanent brain or nerve damage.
Jane said Faith has been “absolutely amazing” and goes through it all “with a smile on her little face.”
She said: ‘Even the consultants say she’s amazing and can’t believe the challenges she’s facing.
He has done it all with a smile on his little face and has never once complained.
I do not know how he does it.
Jane’s friends have now established a GoFundMe page to support the family; she is unable to work as a hospice nurse and needs to stay with Faith at the hospital.
Jane said, “I spend every day and every night with her.”
Less than 1 percent of brain tumors are craniopharyngiomas, according to Cancer Research UK.