Three-year-old Arthur Ridout was finally diagnosed with an aggressive medulloblastoma.
Three-year-old Arthur Ridout spent months travelling back and forth to the doctors after his parents became concerned about the youngster complaining of dizzy spells, nausea and headaches. His mother Lauren repeatedly took her son to the hospital after his symptoms persisted and begged medics to take his condition seriously.
Arthur’s parents, Lauren and Simon, said his symptoms were initially dismissed by doctors.
The toddler will soon undergo eight rounds of chemotherapy.
However, she was left outraged at what she said was the dismissal of his symptoms.
After two months of visits to the GP and a number of different hospitals, little Arthur was finally diagnosed with an aggressive medulloblastoma, the most common type of cancerous brain tumour in children.
The youngster is now undergoing gruelling treatment for the condition while his father, Simon, is fundraising for charity to help find a cure for the illness.
Cattle farmer Simon Ridout, who lives in East Chelborough near Evershot, Dorset, with his wife Lauren, son Arthur and elder son Fred, five, said: “It’s been a life-changing few months for my family and it’s given me a new perspective on everything.
“Before Arthur’s diagnosis, I spent a lot of my life working and probably not enough time with my wife and children.
“I’m re-assessing everything now and family life will definitely be prioritised.
“More awareness needs to be raised and I’m keen to do whatever I can to help.”
Arthur first began to show symptoms at nursery in December 2021 when staff noticed he was unstable on his feet and needed more naps than usual.
He also had to be sent home with sickness a number of times.
His mother took him to the GP after he repeatedly complained of feeling dizzy and suffering from headaches.
She claims she was simply told to “keep an eye on him” as doctors dismissed his symptoms.
His dad Simon is fundraising for the Brain Tumour Research charity.
Arthur was referred to a paediatrician after a second GP visit.
However, before he could be seen by a paediatrician Arthur was rushed to A&E after falling ill while out in the park with his mum on February 5.
Mr Ridout said: “Lauren went down a slide with him on her lap and when they got to the bottom, he was dizzy and wanted to lie down in the dirt.
“When they got to A&E, they saw a few different medics and one of them suggested that Arthur could have been attention-seeking, which made us really cross.”
The toddler returned to the hospital two days later to see an optometrist and had a scan the following day that finally revealed what was causing his symptoms.
The scan revealed a brain tumour roughly the same size as a plum that had been making Arthur ill.
Mr Ridout said: “It was a huge shock. We did a lot of crying.
“They sent us in an ambulance up the M5 to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.
“When we got there, we met a surgeon, who explained that Arthur’s tumour was causing hydrocephalus, a build-up of fluid resulting in pressure on the brain.”
The brave youngster endured five lumbar punctures in five weeks to confirm the cancer had not spread to his spine.
The younster spent months going to and from different hospitals before he was diagnosed.
He then underwent emergency surgery to relieve the cranial pressure on February 8.
Arthur was then back in theatre two days later for a 13-hour operation to remove the tumour.
Although the surgery was successful, the little boy developed fossa syndrome – a common occurrence after the removal of medulloblastoma in children.
He had to learn to eat, talk, move and walk again as a result.
After a gruelling six-week course of head and spine radiotherapy, the little boy can now move around using a walker and is starting to form sentences again.
However, Arthur’s fight is sadly far from over, with the toddler set to undergo eight rounds of chemotherapy soon to prevent the tumour growing back.
Inspired by his little boy, Mr Ridout is raising money for Brain Tumour Research to find a cure for the devastating cancer and help other children like his son.
He is taking part in the charity’s ‘Jog 26.2 Miles in May Challenge’.
He said: “We’re so proud of him.
Little Arthur was diagnosed with aggressive medulloblastoma in February this year.
“The fundraiser is definitely a challenge for me; although I’m physically strong, I’m not a runner.
“I thought people would find it amusing to see a 6ft, 18 stone, farmer running around the fields and footpaths of rural Dorset. I haven’t done any running since school and even then, I was quite lazy.
“Aside from the comedy element of my running challenge, there’s a very serious message about the severe lack of funding for brain tumour research, which I’m hoping to get out there.”
Community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, Mel Tiley said: “Arthur’s story is a stark reminder of how indiscriminate brain tumours are, affecting anyone at any time.
“We’re determined to improve the shocking statistics surrounding the disease and are grateful for supporters like Simon who, by taking part in challenges like this, will enable us to continue funding vital research and, ultimately, find a cure.
“We wish Arthur the best of luck for the next stage of treatment and are thinking of him and his family at this time.”
Medulloblastomas account for 15-20 percent of all childhood brain tumours, most commonly found in children between the ages of three and eight.
Around 55 children are diagnosed with medulloblastoma each year in the UK, according to Cancer Research.
To support Simon’s fundraising, visit here.