Sunday 6th September 2015 – The Operation

Sunday September 6th 2015

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Little did we know but today was going to be D-day. I received a phone call from Jorge at 7am in the morning to tell me that Leo had been having convulsions and they had sedated him. He told me they were taking him for another scan and the doctors were thinking of operating on him the same day. Immediately I tried to get my things together to rush to the hospital which was an hour away but then I realised I didn’t have electricity in my house as there had been a storm during the night. Today of all days. I called my parents and my dad told me he would drive me to the hospital, I was panicking. Why did I even go home last night? I should have stayed with Leo. I got to the hospital at about 10 am in the morning, the scan results were in and the reason Leo was having convulsions was because Leo´s tumour had grown slightly and put more pressure on the brain. We stayed with him for a short while but he was sedated, lights began flashing and machines beeping, Leo coughed and sick like liquid came out of his mouth and nose. I panicked and we were told to wait outside. The doctors told us that it was totally normal and it was the food that was in his stomach as he needed to have an empty stomach for the operation.

The doctors then advised us that they had no option but to operate the same day. We were devastated, we had not prepared ourselves mentally for any of this. We could not take it all in. Less than a week ago I was on the beach with Leo without a care in the world. We were told that the doctors were going to prepare Leo for surgery and we had to wait downstairs for him so we could say good luck to him. We waited, waited and waited for what seemed like eternity. The automatic doors eventually opened the doctor advised us that when they had moved Leo he had deteriorated and we could not see him as they had to rush into the operation. He said to us that as the tumour had grown that there was a possibility that Leo might not survive the operation. The operation began at about 11.15am.

My dad, mother, Sofia and sister had also arrived at the hospital to support us and Leo. We decided to go to a mass in the church at the hospital which began at 12pm. We were all sobbing, Sofia was looking at us wondering why we were all so upset. I had told her a few days before that Leo had to have a small operation in his head to fix his arm as it was not working properly. How could I explain what was happening to a 7 year old, whose brother was her world? We got the priest to say a prayer for Leo during the mass which was comforting for us all.

The operation lasted approximately 6 hours. We were told that Leo was in intensive care recovering and still heavily sedated. We went in to see him. He was located in the Intensive care Paediatric unit, we had to walk past tiny premature babies on the way to his room, it was very emotional. I do not think I will ever forget that image of him lying in the bed. So defenceless, his eyes covered, bandages all over his head, breathing apparatus, and other tubes coming out from all parts of his body. It was horrendous, my poor little boy. I was wishing to myself that I could change places with him and take away all his pain. This wasn’t fair, why did he have to suffer like this?

That night we stayed with him for a while, the only information the doctors could tell us was that they removed all of the tumour and now it was a waiting game. It was a very long night…..

My brother Sean also arrived tonight which was great to have more family support. This was the time in my life I needed my family around me more than ever.

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