Family’s agony as boy, 5, diagnosed with brain tumours a month after dad’s funeral
A family is in agony after a little boy was diagnosed with a similar brain tumour to those that killed his dad and nine-year-old brother.
Milo Hughes, five, was diagnosed with multiple brain tumours just one month after his dad Ian’s funeral, and six years after his brother’s brain tumour death.
Milo’s dad Ian Hughes died of glioblastoma at just 49-years-old.
And his nine-year-old brother Oscar died after six weeks of radiotherapy and nine months of chemotherapy to fight a different brain tumour, medulloblastoma, in 2014.
Brave York mum Marie Hughes, 44, said: “It is still heartbreaking, no matter how brave Milo is, to see him throw up, to have to hold him down as they put the dreaded wiggly line in.
“The other night he turned to me and said ‘I don’t want to die mum’ and I can promise nothing and help little because although he says ‘it’s my body and you can’t do anything to it I don’t want’ we both knows that really what needs to be done will be done.
“I wonder if I will ever become immune to the pain around me, but of course you don’t.”
Ian, a commercial director, died at a hospice leaving behind sons Sebastian, 17, Lucas, 11, and Milo. He was diagnosed in 2019 after suffering a seizure.
Doctors diagnosed Oscar with a brain tumour in 2013 after finding a mass on his brain while investigating why he was so exhausted.
Speaking from her home, Marie continued: “One early February morning, I heard a big bump from upstairs with lots of noise and told the boys to stay on the sofa whilst I ran up.
“Ian was having a massive seizure so I called 999 straight away.
“He was rushed into hospital and scanned and they found a mass on his brain.
“We were absolutely gutted.
“The two of us were in disbelief as not only had he survived a different type of cancer only three years before but the fact it was a brain tumour was just shocking.
“I remember sitting in the A&E unable to speak as I just had no words for him. We both had an immediate feeling of doom.”
And Milo, who never got to meet his older brother, Oscar, is now undergoing chemotherapy.
Marie, who runs a charity dedicated to Oscar, said: “Looking at Milo you’d think he was sailing through this apart from a few days which has seen him be sick every couple of hours day and night.
“Apart from loss of hair, he looks like a healthy active boy, but he has extensive permanent loss of vision and full loss of hearing in one ear.
“Halfway through the fourth round of chemo and he couldn’t wait to get in the paddling pool again.
“He sang, danced and laughed on the way back from the hospital.
“He likes to keep completely in control and tell the nurses and doctors it is his body and they can’t do anything to his body until he is ready.
“He is wise beyond his years.
“Oscar died before Milo was born but it’s not difficult to find the similarities between them.
“The strength that pulled Oscar through is what is also pulling Milo through.
“Oscar didn’t lose the fight because that would imply there was a fair fight to be had.
“Cancer is relentless.
“Oscar died but he had a great life and Milo is having a great life even through treatment and that’s where we are.
“I have stopped looking to the next scan and we just live now.”
Marie and Ian met in a pub 19 years ago, moved in together after two months and married two years later.
They had always dreamed of settling down and having a family.
Marie added: “I will always be grateful that I got to be loved by Ian and that my children had just him as a dad.
“Ian and Oscar were both huge Manchester United fans and had season tickets together with Sebastian.
“Ian and Oscar’s love for sport meant they shared so many things together.
“Oscar was exceptionally sporty, he took it to a different level.
“At 6.30am before school, we’d hear a ball hitting the side of the house and we’d know he’d got up early again, got himself dressed and gone out to play tennis or football.
“All of the boys are incredibly resilient and I think Ian and I worked as such a great team together because we wanted the same – a family to love.”
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