On 4 November, the family of 11 year old Millie Garbutt from Sanderstead, South Croydon, came to stay at Ronald McDonald House Tooting. Over three weeks earlier, Millie had been complaining of headaches and sickness in the mornings. After a trip to the local GP found nothing, it was a routine trip to the opticians that found an abnormal swelling behind her right eye and raised alarm bells. She was sent to St George’s Hospital immediately, where a CT scan revealed an undetected brain tumour attached to her brain stem. Within the following days she was closely monitored, until a neurosurgeon could operate to remove 99.9% of the mass, with subsequent testing proving it to be benign. As a result of such invasive and complex surgery however, Millie’s breathing, swallowing and left side movement were all affected.
In just over four months, since she was admitted, Millie has started to heal extremely well. She has had her ups and downs with small setbacks from minor infections, but she continues to strive towards recovery. From her breathing, to her behaviour and left side movement, she is continuing to improve each and every day. She is only a mere month or so away from reaching her next milestone; being transferred to Tadworth House in Surrey (a specialist Neurological rehabilitation unit), to further aid her physical and mental recovery.
Millie has a close relationship with her mother Emma and grandparents Tony & Geraldine. By being able to stay at Ronald McDonald House Tooting, the family were able to stay together. The House has not only been a huge help for Emma, but also allowed Millie to have her doting mum around 24/7.
On top of the obvious stress of having a child seriously ill in hospital, Emma has involved her friends and family to fundraise for the Tooting House. They have raised well over £500 and that figure is still climbing! All the team at the Tooting House wish Millie a full and rapid return to health and to be back at home with her family, once again very soon.