Girl, 4, ‘coughs up’ part of a tumour after traumatic cancer treatment


A four-year-old girl coughed up part of her tumour after undergoing gruelling treatment for a rare form of cancer.

Amy and Rob Owen thought their daughter Isabellah had a cold or hay fever when she started snoring and then got bad breath.

The parents’ world was turned upside down when doctors diagnosed her with a cancerous tumour in her nasal pharynx, which runs behind the nose to the throat.

Isabellah underwent a year of traumatic treatment, when the youngster coughed up half of her tumour, reports Teesside Live.

But, the happy little girl, from Hartlepool in Durham, has remained in high spirits throughout her ordeal and was hailed a hero by her family.

Amy, 29, said: “It started with what we thought was a bit of a cold. Then it was strange that she started snoring and then she started to get really bad breath, I thought ‘what’s going on here’?

“At one point she coughed up half the tumour. It was like something out of a horror movie.”

Isabellah’s tumour was in an inoperable position so medics had to immediately start her on radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment.

The schoolgirl also had to undergo painful laser treatment to burn away parts of the tumour, which included being sedated for two weeks, and having to travel to Manchester for proton beam therapy.

Although still having mild chemotherapy, doctors revealed there’s no sign of any remaining cancer.

Isabellah’s breathing became difficult, but the family’s GP put it down to polyps.

When things got worse, Amy and Rob took her to James Cook University Hospital, where doctors realised it was something more serious and sent the family to Newcastle’s RVI.

Amy said: “There was something hanging out of her nose, but still it never crossed my mind it was cancer, it’s not the first thing you think of in a young child.”

However, they were to be dealt the bitter blow following further investigation.

Soon the youngster had to be fitted with a breathing tube because the tumour was restricting her breathing.

Amy said: “It was very traumatic for her, the tumour was blocking her throat and she had sleep apnoea. The tumour was through her nose and dangling down the back of her throat.”

Throughout her ordeal, Isabellah amazed everyone with her positivity and even said she quite liked it when all her hair fell out – although she now wants to grow it like Rapunzel.

Amy said: “She has shocked everyone with what a superhero she has been. She has been amazing.

“The only time she got a bit down was when she couldn’t get out of bed in hospital. But, once they took the tubes out she was up and running around the wards.”

Amy said she can only describe what the family as been through as a ‘living hell’. But, thankfully the journey is almost at an end and they are looking forward to getting a normal life back, with Isabellah being able to enjoy all the things she has missed out on.

This will include getting a little brother in October, which she is excited about.

Amy said: “Having a child in and out of hospital is extremely difficult. We had to drive 40 miles each way to the hospital. We spent a fortune on food, petrol and parking.

“This doesn’t include the out if the blue hospital visits due to worries, A&E visits and medical collections. We really struggled. It’s been emotionally, physically and financially horrendous.”

The family has set up a Gofundme page for Isabellah to help pay for fun activities in a bid to make up for all the things she has missed out on due to her illness.