Little Maisy Cawston from Harworth is just like any other seven-year-old girl. Playing with dolls, doing homework squabbling with her brother.
Little Maisy Cawston is just like any other seven-year-old girl. Playing with dolls, doing her homework sqabbling with her brother.
But beneath the surface she suffers from a rare life-threatening brain condition which has to be carefully monitored.
Maisy was born 10 weeks prematurely weighing just 2lbs 13oz. She spent weeks in hospital receiving specialist care and building up her strength.
She had suffered a bleed on the brain so regular head scans were done after being discharged from hospital.
Maisy seemed to develop like a normal baby, aside from being a few weeks behind due to her prematurity.
But at six months old Lisa and he husband Andrew, of Bawtry Road, Harworth, noticed she was not doing the things she should be, like rolling over.
At eight months Lisa took to the doctor with a suspected ear infection. But she was rushed straight to hospital where they diagnosed a large build up of fluid on her brain.
The condition, Hydrocephalus, meant Maisy needed surgery to fit a ‘shunt’ which drains fluid from the brain to the stomach.
“Her eyes have a squint because of the pressure and she gets bad headaches,” said Lisa. “She does struggle at school because her short term memory is affected. But she is happy there and has plenty of friends. We don’t know if there will be any lasting damage.”
Last January Maisy spent an extended spell at Sheffield Children’s Hospital after surgery to unblock the shunt.
Said Lisa: “It could block at any time and if it’s not sorted it could kill or severely brain damage her.”
“We have to be careful she doesn’t bang her head, that she drinks plenty of water and has enough sleep.”
“It takes some explaining when she’s playing at a friend’s or at a party. When we went abroad she needed special travel insurance and a pass to let her through airport security scanners.”
“We just want to raise awareness because anyone can have this condition. But the symptoms are very common - severe headache, vomiting and sleepyness. If you have these you should see your doctor straight away.”
In just two years the Cawstons have raised nearly £8,000 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital where Maisy has been looked after.
They have held two successful dinner dances at Ye Olde Bell at Barnby Moor. The last was in March.
“It was Maisy’s idea to raise some money so the children on the wards have toys and iPads,” said Lisa.
“The pub have been fantastic and we got raffle prizes donated from across the community. It was great fun and we hope to do it again.”