Shine Bright – Chloe’s Story0
From the age of 11, local teenager Chloe has experienced severe vertigo, headaches and heaviness in the head, double/blurry vision, extreme fatigue, as well as sleeplessness. As you can imagine, these symptoms take a large toll on a person and their family. After countless appointments with specialists, MRI scans, hospital trips and six years of waiting, they finally got a diagnosis.
Chloe was found to have a 13mm benign tumour, which is classified as large, in the centre of her brain. It was located on the pineal gland and is termed a ‘Pineocytoma’. These tumours, due to their location, are one of the most difficult tumours to treat or remove. Most neurologists and neurosurgeons refuse to even look at these cases, let alone attempt to remove a tumour, due to it being classed as a rare tumour and one of the riskiest brain surgery procedures.
Chloe’s quality of life was poor and well below what a 17 year old’s should be like. She was unable to do so many activities that she used to regularly enjoy, while her friends had to enjoy them without her. The tumour was pressing on parts of her brain which was severely affecting her eyesight. Without surgery, there was a high chance that she would become blind within a year. As well as her eyesight being affected, the tumour caused a variety of other life-changing and even life-threatening problems.
Chloe was a Grade 12 student at North Lakes State College. Having to deal with these symptoms meant both her performance and attendance have been greatly affected. She also volunteers her time as a Youth Reference Group member at Headspace Redcliffe and works as a Dance Teacher at Kreative Movements, both since 2015.
Her neurosurgeon, Professor Charlie Teo AM is internationally acclaimed and a pioneer in keyhole, minimally invasive techniques. Dr Teo graduated from the University of New South Wales medical school before relocating to the USA where he practised for ten years. Since returning to Australia he has worked to develop pioneering procedures in his field and is now Director of The Centre for Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery at Prince of Wales Private Hospital. Charlie dedicates three months every year to pro bono work in developing countries, for which he has been recognised with many awards and honours. In 2003 he founded the Cure for Life Foundation, which is now the largest funder of brain cancer research in Australia.
The good news is that Chloe’s operation was performed on the 7th of August this year and everything went perfectly! She spent three days in the hospital, one in the Intensive Care Unit and the other two on the ward, recovering. The only remaining scar from her surgery was where ten stitches were placed too close to the wound at the base of her skull. She has since seen Dr Teo’s team for a follow-up consultation and has been given the all clear! The chances of the tumour returning have been given as slim to none. Chloe has offered for her case to be included in ongoing research of Pineocytomas.
Chloe looks forward to getting on with her life. She aims to study a double degree in Social Work and Criminology at University. Chloe’s family wish to thank everyone for their support and donations, big or small. It has meant the world to both Chloe and her family! If you would like to assist Chloe’s family financially, you can donate to Chloe’s GoFundMe campaign at – www.gofundme.com/chloes-brain-tumour-surgery
The team at Big Local would like to wish Chloe all the very best for her future. We’re sure she’ll shine brightly in all that she does!