SHE’S the schoolgirl who spotted what the specialists couldn’t.
Sixteen-year-old Lauren Pearson, from Yoxall, whose life was drastically altered by a brain tumour, is fighting her way back towards recovery.
Her world was turned upside down when the tumour the size of a golf ball was found two years ago, having a devastating impact on her life, forcing her to learn to walk and talk again.
But to her family, almost as shocking as discovering that Lauren, a pupil at John Taylor High School in Barton under Needwood, had been struck down by the tumour, was the failure by various specialists to spot it.
Following visits to doctors surgeries and hospitals after concerns for Lauren’s health were raised, it was the 16-year-old, after doing some of her own research on the internet, that uttered the words ‘I think I’ve got a brain tumour’.
Although it was successfully removed, two years on Lauren remains on the painstakingly-slow road to recovery.
After the removal of tumour, parents Adrian and Julie’s hopes of a speedy recovery were dashed when Lauren was hit with another devastating blow in the form of posterior-fossa syndrome, which occurs in around one in five tumour victims, leaving her unable to speak and almost completely immobile.
Lauren’s story begins in March 2010 when the first signs that anything was wrong were noticed.
Her mum Julie said: “She started vomiting so we took her to the doctor and he gave her some tablets and we just carried on not thinking much of it.
“About six months later she said she was feeling dizzy so we went back to the doctor who thought it could be labyrinthitis, but nothing serious, which I thought sounded feasible.”
Even when Lauren said she thought she was going blind, doctors batted away the complaints as nothing more than a migraine.
But the extent of the situation became clear after an MRI scan confirmed Lauren’s fears.
While the news hit Mr and Mrs Pearson like a tonne of bricks, Lauren admitted she was relieved to finally know what was wrong with her.
But nobody was prepared for what would come next.
Mrs Pearson said: “I remember saying ‘it’s good news, it’s benign, you’ll be out in two weeks’, but she lost everything, her speech, her movement, it was devastating’.
Lauren remained mute for six months, and two years on still struggles with her speech and requires a wheelchair.
Mrs Pearson added: “She’s still in rehab and is classed as disabled. It’s amazing where she’s come from but there’s still a long way to go.
“It’s just been devastating. We just want her to get better. But we’re just grateful she’s still here and she’s been given a second chance.”