David was 12 when he began experiencing mild pain in his lower back during the middle of 2021. We did not think much of it initially as it didn’t affect him to any degree playing sport or doing everyday things that children do. As the year progressed the pain became more persistent so we suspected an injury to his coccyx bone as he started finding it difficult to bend down especially playing sport.
David loves playing hurling, football, soccer and basketball. As the matter had not resolved itself into 2022 we had David seen by his GP who recommended an X-Ray of his back. The result was normal and David continued on, but it was clear that the pain was increasing with time. Another visit to the GP resulted in David getting physiotherapy which had a positive effect on his flexibility which was reducing gradually. David continued with his sports until the end of September this year but his back pain was now at a much higher level causing him sleep loss and constant discomfort.
We decided to take David to hospital and after initial assessment he was admitted to the Paediatric Ward at U.H.L. The cause of David’s issue was not discovered for a number of days until an MRI scan
revealed a lesion in his spine which was the source of the problem.
Our world was turned upside down when we were informed on 4th October of the lesion growing in David’s spine. Arrangements were quickly put in place to have David transferred from Limerick to Temple St. Children’s Hospital in Dublin. David was placed under the care of the wonderful neurosurgeon Ms. Tafadzwa Mandiwanza and staff at St. Gabriel’s Ward at Temple St.
On 11th October David underwent neurosurgery to have the tumour removed from his spine at Temple St. Thankfully the surgery was very successful in that Ms. Mandiwanza, (known to all in
Temple St as simply Taffy) was able to remove all of the tumour. It goes without saying that we will be eternally grateful to Taffy and the brilliant staff at Temple St., who cared for David.
David recovered very well from surgery and a recommendation for him to receive Proton Beam Radiotherapy was made by his care team, which includes Dr. Michael Capra and Dr. Patricia Daly at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.
The treatment we believed would be in Essen, Germany so we were all delighted when a place for David became available at The Christie Foundation in Manchester as this was much more accessible.
At this point The Gavin Glynn Foundation enters our story. We had been encouraged to contact the Foundation in October when treatment abroad looked likely for David. We were reluctant firstly believing that there were far more worthy cases than ours. However we did make contact with John Glynn and we are very lucky that we did.
From the very first call with John to this point, we have been looked after brilliantly by the Gavin Glynn Foundation.
John & Jayne have been so good to our family in the organising of our stay in Manchester for David’s treatment. All of the travel arrangements, accommodation and costs have been covered by the Foundation. We are genuinely astonished by the care and generosity shown to us by the Glynn’s. We had not yet booked a flight or accommodation for our stays in Manchester as John & Jayne have willingly done this on our behalf.
They have removed so much of the worry and stress associated with travelling outside of the country with children for treatment purposes.
We are very very grateful to the Glynn’s and the Foundation for everything they have done for us as a family. We will spend Christmas together in Manchester with our other two boys joining David once school breaks for the holidays. This has been made possible by the Gavin Glynn Foundation as they have booked us a family apartment in the city centre.
David’s treatment begins 12th December just two months since his initial diagnosis. We have come a long way since with the help and support of many people including the Glynn’s and their marvellous Foundation.
Finally we would say to any parent to always find answers if a child is experiencing back pain. This is not common in children and should be properly investigated.