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Mom Uses Internet to Diagnose Daughter's Brain Tumor

google-search-sm250When Carly Hornbuckle’s 4-year-old daughter began waking up listless and sick to her stomach last year, the 25-year-old mother immediately made an appointment to see a doctor.  But when that doctor dismissed little Bella’s symptoms as nothing more than a bad case of sibling rivalry, Hornbuckle took matters into her own hands. 

While Hornbuckle, who lives near Leicester in the UK, thought it was possible that the arrival of baby sister Imogen had upset her eldest daughter, she had a nagging suspicion that something more serious was going on.  Convinced that her daughter was truly ill, she did what any modern mother would do:  She Googled her symptoms.

What she discovered was that Bella’s rapid weight loss and daily headaches could be symptoms of a brain tumor.  Armed with that alarming information, she returned to her doctor who again dismissed her fears.  But Hornbuckle’s Internet research had left her feeling so uneasy that she decided a second opinion was in order.

While her new doctor felt it was unlikely that Bella had a brain tumor, he did not just dismiss her fears and send her on her merry way.  He referred her to a specialist for a scan that would rule out anything serious.

Sadly, that scan proved Hornbuckle’s fears were justified.  Bella was suffering from medulloblastoma, a fast-growing, malignant tumor that, if left untreated, can spread through the brain and spinal cord.  But because of mom’s persistence, the tumor was discovered relatively early and doctors were able to surgically remove it.  After six weeks of radiotherapy, Bella is now on the mend.

While Bella may ultimately suffer some learning difficulties down the road and may even have some hearing loss and kidney damage, she is alive and well thanks to her mother’s persistence and good old Dr. Google.

Image: Danard Vincente/Flickr

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