Bertie the brave all set for treatment in USA

Gemma and Bertie with his beads of courage.
Gemma and Bertie with his beads of courage.

A brave tot who is set to undergo intensive medical treatment in America is flying to the States on Saturday.

As reported in last week’s Gazette, two-year-old Bertie Miller-Grossett, from Warkworth, is gearing up for a six-week period of proton beam therapy – a specialist form of radiotherapy.

It comes after the youngster had a brain tumour removed at the beginning of November.

Bertie will spend a total of 10 weeks in America, joined by his loving parents Gemma and Claire, as well as younger brother Sebastian.

In preparation for the trip, Bertie was last week fitted with a Hickman line, which is a portal for his anaesthetic.

The tot has also started his beads of courage – where he will receive a special bead for every poke, scan and night he spends in hospital, among other acts of bravery.

Following the fitting of the Hickman line, he received a ‘you did it’ bead, because he did so well not eating all day.

His lumbar puncture – a medical procedure where a needle is inserted into the lower part of the spine to test for conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord or other parts of the nervous system – also came back clear, which means that Florida is all go.

Bertie’s parents say their whole world stopped when doctors told them that he had a brain tumour.

He hadn’t been himself for a few months. He was being sick randomly, was constantly tired and suffering sleep apnea because of swollen tonsils. He underwent a sleep study and had his tonsils removed.

In early November, Bertie, struggling with sickness and unsteadiness on his feet, saw his GP, who sent him straight to hospital.

It was there that a scan showed he had a large, fast-growing brain tumour called an ependymoma.

He was rushed into surgery and it is believed that all the visible tumour was removed. He will be treated in Florida in an attempt to stop the cancer returning.

A Facebook page, entitled Bertie the Brave, has been set up, while a online fund-raising page has so far raised more than £11,500 to help support Bertie and his family. To donate to the cause, visit tinyurl.com/yb7czyca