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Doctors told boy his symptoms were 'attention seeking' but it was dangerous tumour

By Charlotte Penketh-King & Kieren Williams

A doctor allegedly told a young boy and his parents that his symptoms were just “attention seeking” but they turned out to be result of a life-threatening plum-sized tumour.

Arthur Ridout spent months travelling back and forth to the doctors with his parents begging them to take the three-year-old’s symptoms seriously.

His mum, Lauren, regularly took the tot to the hospital after he repeatedly complained about dizzy spells, nausea, and headaches.

She was left outraged at what she said was the dismissal of his symptoms.

It was only after two months of visits to their GP and various hospitals before little Arthur was finally diagnosed with an aggressive medulloblastoma - the most common type of brain cancer in children.

Three-year-old Arthur Ridout (Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)
The youngster and his mum Lauren in hospital (Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)

Thankfully, the tot is now receiving treatment and his dad, Simon, is fundraising for charity to help find a cure.

Cattle farmer Simon, who lives in East Chelborough near Evershot with his wife Lauren, his son Arthur and his son Fred, five, said: "It's been a life-changing few months for my family and it's given me a new perspective on everything.

"Before Arthur's diagnosis, I spent a lot of my life working and probably not enough time with my wife and children.

“I'm re-assessing everything now and family life will definitely be prioritised.

"More awareness needs to be raised and I'm keen to do whatever I can to help.”

Arthur’s symptoms first began to show when he was at nursery back in December 2021.

They spent months going to the GP and hospital before they found out about Arthur's tumour (Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)
Arthur and his dad Simon (Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)

Staff noticed he was unstable on his feet and needed more naps than the others, and he ended up being sent home sick on a number of occasions.

Lauren took her son to the GP but claims she was simply told to “keep an eye on him”.

After a second visit to the GP, he was referred to a paediatrician but before he could see them, he was rushed to A&E after falling ill in the park on February 5.

Simon said: "Lauren went down a slide with him on her lap and when they got to the bottom, he was dizzy and wanted to lie down in the dirt.

"When they got to A&E, they saw a few different medics and one of them suggested that Arthur could have been attention-seeking, which made us really cross."

The little tot is now undergoing treatment for his brain tumour (Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)
Dad Simon is now running to raise money for charity (Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)

Arthur returned to the hospital two days later to see an optometrist and had a scan the following day that finally revealed what had been making the youngster sick.

The scan showed Arthur's symptoms had been caused by a brain tumour the size of a plum.

Simon said: "It was a huge shock. We did a lot of crying.

"They sent us in an ambulance up the M5 to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

“When we got there, we met a surgeon, who explained that Arthur's tumour was causing hydrocephalus, a build-up of fluid resulting in pressure on the brain."

The toddler endured five lumbar punctures in five weeks to confirm no spread of the cancer to his spine before undergoing emergency surgery to relieve the cranial pressure on February 8.

Arthur underwent a series of treatments to see whether the tumour had spread and then to deal with it (Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)
Lauren and Simon spent months begging doctors to take their tot's symptoms seriously (Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)

Two days later, the brave little boy was back in theatre for a 13-hour operation to remove the tumour.

Although the surgery was a success, he developed posterior fossa syndrome - a common occurrence with the removal of medullablastoma in children - and had to learn to eat, talk, move and walk again.

After a gruelling six week course of head and spine radiotherapy, brave Arthur can now move around using a walker and is starting to form sentences again.

However, the fight is far from over for the little lad who will soon start eight rounds of chemotherapy to prevent the tumour growing back.

Inspired by his brave boy, dad Simon is raising money for Brain Tumour Research to find a cure for the devastating cancer by taking part in the charity's 'Jog 26.2 Miles in May Challenge'.

Simon, who claims to be 'unfit', said: "We're so proud of him.

Arthur was diagnosed with an aggressive medulloblastoma (Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)

"The fundraiser is definitely a challenge for me; although I'm physically strong, I'm not a runner.

"I thought people would find it amusing to see a 6ft, 18 stone, farmer running around the fields and footpaths of rural Dorset. I haven't done any running since school and even then, I was quite lazy.

"Aside from the comedy element of my running challenge, there's a very serious message about the severe lack of funding for brain tumour research, which I'm hoping to get out there."

Community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, Mel Tiley said: "Arthur's story is a stark reminder of how indiscriminate brain tumours are, affecting anyone at any time.

"We're determined to improve the shocking statistics surrounding the disease and are grateful for supporters like Simon who, by taking part in challenges like this, will enable us to continue funding vital research and, ultimately, find a cure.

"We wish Arthur the best of luck for the next stage of treatment and are thinking of him and his family at this time."

To support Simon's fundraising, visit here .

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