Jessica was diagnosed with DIPG, a type of brain tumour, when she was three years old. Jessica’s left eye had started to drift inwards, so she was referred to the Royal Bolton Hospital. While waiting for a scan, her symptoms worsened.
The consultant confirmed that Jessica had cancer and she was sent straight to The Royal Manchester Children’s hospital.
Jessica had a tumour in the worst possible place – the brain stem. The tumour was inoperable and Jessica’s life expectancy was just 9-12 months. There was little treatment they could offer, only treatment to prolong Jessica’s life and not cure her.
Jessica was started on steroids straight away to relieve some of the pressure on her brain and she began radiotherapy. Weeks later, after a further MRI, the tumour had reduced to about half the size.
But, several weeks later, Jessica’s left eye began to drift inwards again and she was slightly off balance at times. The tumour had started to grow again, this time more aggressively than before. She was unable to walk, had difficulty moving her right side and couldn’t swallow. Jess was admitted and put on a high dose of steroids and thankfully things improved again.
She was started on chemotherapy but the combination of chemo and steroids were causing her further side effects and infections. She became more and more unwell. Her parents took the impossible decision to stop her treatment. The tumour was continuing to grow despite chemotherapy and they didn’t want her to suffer anymore.
Jessica was taken to Derian House children’s hospice and passed away peacefully surrounded by her family at aged only 6 years old.