Portsmouth girl receives life saving high-energy proton beam therapy at Manchester's The Christie NHS Trust

A Portsmouth girl has thanked a Manchester based specialist cancer therapy centre after receiving life saving treatment.
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Eve Wilson, 15, lives in Portsmouth with her family but after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2020 she was referred to a ground breaking treatment centre in Manchester. The Christie NHS Foundation Trust has the UK's first high-energy proton beam therapy centre which is a form of radiotherapy but the beams don't' release a large amount of energy until it gets to where the tumour is. This means there is less chance of damage to the surrounding tissue

Eve was diagnosed originally at the age of 10 with craniopharyngioma, a rare type of tumour which makes up around 5 to 10 percent of all paediatric brain tumours. It ended up blocking the circulation of the fluid around her brain which led to her vision becoming badly affected. Doctors were able to drain the tumour but not remove it and a subsequent scan showed a new tumour which is when The Christie became involved.

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Penny Wilson, Eve's mum, was understandably concerned when having to take her child to the other side of the country for treatment but she is glad that she did. She said: "When Eve was poorly, she just couldn’t be a normal kid. She couldn’t see properly, and she was so tired that she just kept on falling asleep all the time. When we were told it was a brain tumour, my whole world changed forever. It was especially scary when they told us she had a build-up of fluid in her brain and the implications of that. We got through surgery, and then it turned out that another tumour had grown in a different place.

"It was an unbelievably difficult time. No one ever wants to see their child unwell. When we were told Eve would be having proton beam therapy in Manchester, I was worried about taking her so far from home, so the fact that she was so comfortable at The Christie is a real credit to all the staff there."

Eve Wilson returned to The Christie at the end of 2023 for a check-up after successful surgery in August 2020.Eve Wilson returned to The Christie at the end of 2023 for a check-up after successful surgery in August 2020.
Eve Wilson returned to The Christie at the end of 2023 for a check-up after successful surgery in August 2020.

Eve is thankful for the treatment she received in Manchester, not just the surgery but the way in which the staff looked after her. She said: "The staff made me feel comfortable and prepared, so I wasn’t scared before treatment. It was nice always having friendly faces looking out for me and checking I was ok. They even let me switch my treatment times, so we could drive home for the last hour of my last day at primary school, we did a 240-mile school run.”

Having successfully received the proton beam therapy in August 2020, Eve recently returned to the centre for a check-up and to give out toys to the children currently undergoing treatment. She said: "The doctor told us everything was still fine, and we talked a bit about my future after treatment. I love dancing and was worried that I might not be able to do it as much, but he was supportive and encouraged me to keep doing the things I enjoy. It was so great to see everyone, coming back was a really positive experience for me.”

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