Christmas finally came for Bertie the Brave

Bertie in his Christmas jumper.
Bertie in his Christmas jumper.
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  • ‘No MRI scans or bloods taken, just all of us together for a day of fun’
  • After a tough month, Bertie is on the mend

Dressed in a Santa Claus jumper and having hung up his stocking, brave Bertie Miller-Grossett is all ready to celebrate Christmas with his loving family.

It might well be the start of January, but yesterday, the brave two-year-old was finally able to have his own December 25 festivities.

Bertie after his operation last week.

Bertie after his operation last week.

The Warkworth youngster was forced to put Christmas on hold – including a visit from Santa – as he recovered from a brain haemorrhage, which left him in intensive care.
It has certainly been a tough month for Bertie, who is currently in America. The tot had
flown across to the States at the start of December to start an unrelenting six-week period of specialised radiotherapy, known as proton beam therapy, after having a brain tumour removed in November.

But this intensive medical treatment was put on hold after he took ill on the flight over to Florida and he has since endured a difficult few weeks.

However, brave Bertie has battled back and is finally on the mend. He was discharged from Wolfson Children’s Hospital earlier this week and is now scheduled to start proton beam therapy today – but not before he celebrated a belated Christmas with his parents, Claire and Gemma, and little brother Sebastian.

Writing on the Bertie the Brave Facebook page on Tuesday, his family said: ‘We are pleased to say Bertie was finally discharged from the Wolfson hospital yesterday. It’s been a long month!

‘We don’t want to jinx anything after our last brief discharge but Bertie is finally well and after today’s repeat CT scan (and a small readjustment to his custom-made proton mask to allow for his shunt), he will finally start his proton treatment on Thursday.

‘But tonight Bertie will hang his stocking out for Santa and tomorrow we will have our Christmas together as a family. No magic sleeps, no trips to the noisy tunnel (MRI scanner), no bloods taken, just all of us together for a day of fun and treats.’

Boy, did Bertie deserve his Christmas! Having endured a six-hour operation at Newcastle’s RVI hospital to have a brain tumour removed in November, Bertie and his family travelled to America to start his gruelling proton beam therapy.

But he encountered unexpected medical problems, first taking ill on the flight over to America and then, having made a recovery, becoming unwell a short time later.

A CT scan revealed a bleed on the brain and raised pressure in his head, leaving Bertie in intensive care.

At the end of December, the youngster needed to have an operation to have a permanent shunt fitted.

The device will sit on top of his skull underneath the skin and excess fluid will be drained into his tummy.

A valve will ensure that the pressure in his head is always at the right level.

His family wrote: ‘He will have the shunt forever, but it shouldn’t stop him doing anything he wants to in life (maybe no rugby and no scuba diving).’

On December 30, he managed to walk for the first time in three weeks and earlier this week he was discharged from hospital.

Before Bertie flew to America, family friends set up a JustGiving page to help the Miller-Grossetts cope during their time abroad. It has so far raised more than £12,500. To donate to the cause, visit tinyurl.com/yb7czyca