Like any normal toddler, Isabella spent quite a lot of time scrabbling around on the floor and one day, whilst at her grandparents’ house, she bumped her head on the kitchen table. Isabella didn’t cry and the bump didn’t seem too serious so the family continued as normal. The following day however, a swelling started on the side of her head by her temple and over the course of a week, became much bigger. Naturally her parents became worried and sought medical help at their local doctors surgery, however, the GP was unsure what might have caused it and after checking Isabella over for signs of further damage, provided the family with a course of antibiotics. To be on the safe side, her parents took Isabella to the dentist and the optician for general check-ups and both were passed with nothing serious noted.
By the end of the week, Isabella was crying in the night and in some obvious pain causing the family some concern. The family attended a friend’s wedding that weekend and a fellow guest who happened to be a doctor, informed the family that there could be something seriously wrong with Isabella, advising they visit a hospital for further diagnosis.
Subsequently, a tumour was found behind her eye. She was immediately transferred to the Royal Marsden in Sutton. She had 10 courses of Chemotherapy and High Dose Radiotherapy. She has been in remission for nearly 16 years.
In 2012 she had a large stroke, and was subsequently diagnosed with a very rare side effect of high dose radiotherapy called “Moya Moya Disease”. In September of 2012, she underwent bypass surgery to her brain, to try and bypass the blood flow to her brain and minimise the strokes and TIA’s that she has. This was successful, but they can only do one side of her brain, as the other side is the site of the original tumour, and the surgeons are unsure how to proceed with this site.
Over the years Izzy has had numerous surgeries to her eye, she does not see out of one eye, and has a cataract in the other eye caused by the radiotherapy. She has had bone grafted from her Hip into her jaw, and has had more surgery to her face to try and make it more symmetric. She has very few adult teeth, as they were destroyed by the radiotherapy, but the fantastic Maxiofacial team have been giving her implants!