A little boy bravely battling a terminal rare brain tumour has taken the first steps in pioneering treatment to try to save his life.
Eleven-year-old Sumner Malik underwent a harrowing eight-hour operation last week at London’s Harley Street Clinic after his devastated family were told no treatment was available on the NHS.
And, although back at his home near Handcross this week, Sumner’s battle is far from over. His worried family are facing massive bills to pay for his treatment - needing £6,000 a month for chemotherapy.
And that’s on top of an £86,000 bill for the pioneering op Sumner underwent last week to surgically plant a catheter directly into his brain through which drugs can be administered.
The close-knit Malik family - all sporting squash champions who train at K2 in Crawley - have been overwhelmed by public support since Sumner’s plight was first revealed in October. But they are still trying to raise money to cover the on-going cost of treatment.
Meanwhile, dad Camron this week spoke of his thanks that the operation had been able to go ahead “although it’s been a horrendous week.”
He described how he and wife Suzan waited helpless and “with baited breath” during the long eight-hour op.
“But he’s come through although it was a brutal operation and he has scars all over his head and bruising.”
The full effects of how well the treatment is working won’t be known until March or April, said Camron, “but it gives us more time.”
Meanwhile, Sumner’s brothers - he’s one of triplets - with two older brothers and a sister - are all rooting for him, although it’s been an emotional time for them all.
“It’s very hard, but we’re bearing up,” said Camron.
Sumner’s condition - a form of childhood cancer known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma - strikes around 40 children a year in Britain.
If you would like to find out more about Sumner’s battle - or donate to a fund to help him - go to http://www.sunshine4sumner.com/ and https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sunshine4sumnerinfusions1