A toddler born with the rarest tumour in the world has left doctors across the globe baffled.
Tommy Lines developed a golf ball-sized tumour on his brain while in the womb – and after two major brain surgeries, it is still unknown what the future holds for the three-year-old.
His case has been sent all over the world for opinions from top doctors, but as it has never been seen before, no one knows what kind of tumour it is and whether it is deadly or not.
Mum Lisa Lines, of Furzton, said: “Since being told every parent’s worst nightmare, carrying on as normal was hard.
“We couldn’t sleep, talking about it was too upsetting and we felt guilty smiling or laughing.
“But we had to try to carry on for him and his sister, Ellie.
“Tommy is an inspiration to us and has made us all stronger people – if he can go through what he has in the past six months, always with a smile on his face, then he can achieve anything in his future.” Just a few weeks before his third birthday, Tommy went into surgery to attempt to remove the tumour.
But three months later, he had to go through it all again when an MRI scan revealed some of the growth remained on his brain.
Lisa said: “Just like last time, he bounced back – always smiling and always the brave Tommy we all know and love.
“Now we prepare for the results of the next MRI scan and further biopsy tests.
“The prognosis is unknown. We have no idea what is going to happen next and what further treatment will be needed.
“For now we just wait, hope and pray.”
Medics can’t understand why Tommy is not feeling poorly, despite the tumour appearing to be so aggressive.
Lisa said: “He’s as active as he was before we found out about the tumour.
“What the doctors are seeing under the microscope doesn’t match up – that’s what is baffling them. He should be really poorly.”
Ironically, the tumour was only found because Tommy was diagnosed with an incurable visual impairment causing involuntary movement of the eyes.
After researching Nystagmus, the Lines family learned it could be the effect of an underlying neurological disorder.
Lisa added: “We didn’t take no for an answer and pushed for an MRI scan after reading an article about a girl with the disorder who had a brain tumour.
“Two years ago we wished we could take it away, but now we’re thankful, because without it we wouldn’t have found the tumour.”