A YOUNG Australian teenager who was left for dead due to an ‘inoperable’ brain tumour has defied doctor’s predictions, surviving a surgery only one surgeon was brave enough to perform.
Ciara Nelson, 18, is recovering at her Melbourne home after having a lifesaving operation thanks to Sydney neurosurgeon Charles Teo, who reportedly said it was the “most difficult surgery” he had ever performed.
Ciara’s mother, Colleen Nelson, claimed Dr Teo removed 100 per cent of the deadly tumour in a “gamble” that saw her daughter undergo five hour keyhole surgery.
It’s some much needed good news for the family, after Ciara realised she was living with a deadly cancer, which was only discovered because she hit her head during a netball game in 2016.
Ciara was diagnosed with a high-grade glioma which doctors reportedly said couldn’t be removed due to risks of brain damage, stroke or death.
“I think we are very fortunate to have him in this country, that’s for sure, because no one else would tough her,” Mrs Nelson told Nine News.
“No one would touch her with a 10-foot pole and we are just lucky that he took a gamble and was able to do it.”
Despite the relief that surgery went well, Ciara still has a four week wait ahead of her to make sure the tumour was completely removed.
“She is getting stronger every day. She is still very tired and it is going to take a while. There is a little bit of disturbance to her vision, but we are hoping that it’s only temporary,” Mrs Nelson said.
Mrs Nelson, a mother-of-three, first thought Ciara suffered a concussion when she started vomiting after a fall during a netball game in May, 2016.
But in a horrific discovery, Ciara had a lesion on her brain and her GP referred her to Monash Medical Centre in Victoria.
A follow-up MRI found Ciara’s tumour was high grade.
“They admitted her so quickly. By the afternoon, the neurosurgeon told us she had a glioma in her brain,” Mrs Nelson said
What followed was a year of medical appointments, scans and disappointments from doctors who thought a surgery on Ciara was too risky to perform.
Knowing the ordeal ahead of them, Colleen set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for the cause, which has since December 2016 garnered more than $130,000 in donations.
Any money raised that is not used for Ciara’s treatment will be donated to support other families who have children with brain tumours.