In August 2005 our 10 year old daughter, Claire, began to complain of headaches and then started being sick frequently. In September she was admitted to the local hospital and given a CT scan following which Tony and I were told that she had a brain tumour and needed urgent surgery. She was transferred to The Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford in the early hours of the morning. Claire recovered amazingly fast following her operation and we were able to come home after 10 days, whilst we waited for the results of the biopsy.
Tony and I went back to Oxford a week later to be given the devastating news that Claire had a Glioblastoma Multiforme tumour – one of the most malignant types of brain tumour with a life expectancy of no more than 12 months.
Claire then started weeks of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, all of which she took in her stride. Her response was to charm every one she met with her wonderful smile. She was happiest when she was surrounded with pens, pencils and creative ‘stuff’ to make more of her works of art.
“Our wish now is for families in the future to hear their consultants say, “There is a treatment and the long-term outlook is good” rather than what we heard, “I’m sorry, there is very little we can do. Take her home and make the most of the time that you have left.” Supporting The Brain Tumour Charity in Claire’s memory will help make this possible. Many thanks”
In March, Claire was delighted to be given a wish by the charity, Make-A-Wish. Her choice was for Daddy to lose most of his study as it was turned into a fantastic art studio complete with every art supply a budding artist could desire. She spent many happy hours in the studio with friends and family, making full use of all the wonderful gifts that she had been given.
After Easter, Claire’s health began to deteriorate and we had to face the fact that the treatments had not slowed down the tumour as we had hoped it would. Even at this stage Claire was an inspiration to us all. She rarely complained about the effects of her illness and seemed bemused by all the attention that she was getting.
We had wonderful support from all the health professionals who had become part of our lives since September 2005, and everything possible was done to ensure that Claire’s quality of life was undiminished. She died peacefully at home in our arms on Thursday 20th July 2006 .