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Eagle-eyed dad’s gut instinct discovers son’s tennis ball sized brain tumour

3 min read

A father’s intuition may have saved his young son’s life after he couldn’t shake a gut feeling that something wasn’t right.

Fynle Price Jones was diagnosed with a tumour the size of a tennis ball when loving dad Phil spotted something out of the ordinary whilst playing.

The seven-year-old had jumped off a decking onto the garden grass when Phil noticed that his lad’s eye moved to the side, the opposite way he was moving.

Soon after, Phil cottoned on that his son was losing his balance and falling over more often.

So after a trip to the doctor, the youngster was referred to a specialist found an aggressive grade four tumour on his brain, North Wales Live reported.

Fynle was whisked off to the operating theatre and went under the knife in Ruthin, Wales.

After months of gruelling treatment, including sessions in proton beaming sessions in Germany, the brave lad has been given the all-clear.

Phil said: “As soon as Fynle leapt off the platform [of the decking], I saw his eye move towards the side in the opposite direction to where he was jumping and I thought, that’s not right.

"He was seven at the time, so he was still leaping about everywhere, but he seemed to be a bit more unsteady landing and I thought I need to take him to the doctors."

The GP was unable to identify what was wrong, but Phil remained concerned and asked for another opinion.

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“As his dad I just knew something wasn’t quite right.”

The doctor agreed to refer Fynle’s notes to a neurology consultant at Glan Clwyd and, a few days later, Phil took an unexpected phone call at work asking him to bring the youngster in for a scan immediately.

“I was shocked, I was at work and Fynle was at school, but they were insistent, the consultant had noticed something in the notes that concerned him and wanted to see Fynle as soon as possible," Phil recalled.

After arriving at the hospital, Fynle was rushed for an MRI scan where the large tumour was discovered.

“It was such a huge shock, it’s like everything stopped, I just couldn’t believe it,” Phil said.

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That evening Fynle was transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool where he underwent a 13-hour operation on his brain to remove the tumour, back in April 2019.

Surgeons were able to remove most of it but he would need further treatment to shrink the rest.

As a side-effect of the surgery, Fynle also developed post-operative cerebral mutism syndrome – a condition that can cause a loss of brain function which, in Fynle’s case included speech and some movement.

It took seven weeks for him to learn to speak, sit up and swallow again but, thanks to intense physiotherapy and rehabilitation, he was able to be discharged.

But the next stage of Fynle's treatment involved travelling to Essen in Germany for 30 sessions of proton beam therapy as well as two further operations on his brain.

Fynle then had to undergo gruelling chemotherapy to stop the cancer from returning.

And in October, 17 months after his diagnosis, he finally got the great news that he was in remission.

“It felt tremendous. We were all on cloud nine,” Phil said.

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