Simon Baggs is set to put his body on the line once again in the name of charity.
On Friday 29th March, Simon will embark on a 50km journey from Williamtown to Wallsend in the hope to raise as much money as he can for 11 year old Emily Chesson.
Last September, Emily had been complaining of headaches for a few weeks with multiple visits to the GP only to be told that she had a simple Virus and was a little dehydrated. As Emily was already wearing glasses her Mum and Dad thought it may have been her prescription that was causing the headaches and booked an Optometrist appointment.
On the 30th September 2018, after a short 20-minute appointment the optometrist advised them that there was some significant swelling behind and around Emily optic nerve and referred Emily directly to the Emergency Department at John Hunter Hospital.
Emily was examined by an eye specialist who confirmed the diagnosis of Papilledema and ordered an immediate MRI on Emily's brain. After the MRI was completed the Doctors called Emily's parents and asked them to attend a meeting suggesting that they find someone who may be able to mind their other child Mason while at the meeting. It was at this time that Emily's family knew the news would not be good.
The Doctors explained to Emily's family that the MRI had revealed a very large brain tumour (7cm x 6cm x 2cm) on the left side of her brain. The tumour was so large that it wrapped around the left optic nerve and down into the brain stem. Doctors advised that Emily was at a high risk of severe stroke due to its size and location and advised that surgery would be required to save her life.
Emily's brain surgery went for over 5 hours, during which the extensive team of Doctors were able to remove 90% of the tumour. Unfortunately for Emily the remaining 10% of the brain tumour is extremely close to the brain stem making it inoperable due to the high-risk factors involved.
After Emily's operation she spent 3 weeks in PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit), 2 of these weeks Emily was intubated and unable to communicate. Pathology returned while Emily was in PICU which identified Emily Tumour as a 'Clear Cell Meningioma - Stage II. This form of brain tumour is very rare in children.
During Emily's stay in PICU her Mum and Dad were advised that Emily had experienced 2 strokes during the procedure which has significantly affected her speech, vision to her right eye and her ability to move the left side of her body or walk.