Mum 'dismissed' by doctors before daughter's 'life-changing' diagnosis

Evie, 4, began experiencing headaches, sickness and loss of balance in 2022.

A mum claims doctors called her “paranoid” after she pushed for further testing on her four-year-old daughter, who was complaining of frequent headaches.

Clare Maw, 42, said that it took a year of going “backwards and forwards” visiting GPs until anyone took her seriously.

Meanwhile, she believes daughter Evie’s health continued to deteriorate, and the once-healthy child was eventually handed a terrifying diagnosis – a brain tumour the “size of an orange”.

Left, Evie before the diagnosis. Right is Evie with her mum Clare Maw and dad on a beach.
Clare Maw said she and her daughter Evie visited numerous doctors before the four-year-old received a devastating diagnosis. Source: Jam Press/Clare Maw

The now-six-year-old’s plight started back in 2022, when she began suffering headaches, sickness and loss of balance. Clare claims she and husband Karl, 32, visited their local GP surgery and hospital an estimated seven times over the months that followed.

“The doctors completely dismissed our concerns, even calling us paranoid parents and calling Evie a liar,” Clare, a teaching assistant from Scunthorpe, England, told “[They] frequently refused to even see her.”

Girl's condition deteriorates quickly

By November, Evie’s condition had worsened dramatically.

“We visited the GP again as Evie had again deteriorated and had even fallen down the stairs due to losing her balance. Again, we were dismissed and sent home,” Clare said.

“Finally on November 12 we rushed her to our local hospital and Evie was finally given a brain scan, as doctors spotted the pressure build-up behind her eyes.”

Evie asleep in a hospital bed after shunt surgery.
Evie underwent numerous surgeries in just weeks after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. Source: Jam Press/Clare Maw

While at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, doctors found a large tumour on Evie’s brain.

“We felt like our whole world was falling apart [and] we were absolutely devastated beyond words, as we knew for a long time Evie had been very poorly, but never ever did we think it would be something so devastating,” Claire said.

Fears four-year-old will never walk again

Brave Evie underwent five surgeries in the space of three weeks over November and December, spending five weeks in hospital. Her parents are currently waiting for the full results from a biopsy before they are able to plan for further treatments.

“We have been left absolutely devastated by this diagnosis and are still yet to find out what Evie’s future holds,” Claire said

“She now has a shunt fitted for life and epilepsy as a result of the tumour being missed for so long and being able to grow so big. Evie is now in a wheelchair as she is unable to walk – we are unsure if this is for life.

“This has completely changed our lives forever.”

Evie sitting in a wheelchair in hospital with a service dog.
Clare said Evie is unable to walk and has developed epilepsy as a result of the tumour. Source: Jam Press/Clare Maw

Parents furious over 'dismissive responses from doctors'

The parents have also been left unhappy by the alleged dismissive responses they received during visits to the doctors before her diagnosis.

“[In my opinion], there were numerous opportunities for the [doctors] to have diagnosed this sooner. All they ever diagnosed her with was possible migraines,” Clare claimed.

The family are currently hoping for good news to come. In the meantime, friends and family have also set up a fundraising page on GoFundMe to support them through this time.

Claire added: “We are hoping for enough funds to adapt the house to make life easier for Evie’s needs in her wheelchair and hopefully to make some new memories with days out to hopefully put some of the terrible hospital trauma behind us.”

Jam Press contacted Claire’s GP but they declined to comment, stating patient confidentiality.

Jam Press

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