Ask any parent, and they’ll tell you that one of the most precious sights in the world is seeing their child smile. But what happens when instead of bringing happiness, a child’s smile causes fear and panic for everyone in the room?
When one Scottish couple noticed something strange about their young daughter’s smile, they dropped everything and rushed her to the hospital. This quick thinking may have actually saved the little girl’s life!
Megan Evans was a normal seven-year-old girl to parents Jason Evans and Charlene McCann. Described as a “wee diva” by her mother, Megan was a lover of gymnastics, cheerleading, and the dramatic arts.
But during a children’s Halloween party in 2017, Megan and her parents’ lives were turned upside down. As Megan was enjoying the festivities with her friends, her parents noticed something strange about their little girl.
Charlene McCann / Facebook
According to Jason, Megan’s smile had gone completely crooked. While the other parents were convinced that it was only a muscle spasm, Jason and Charlene couldn’t ignore the sirens going off in their heads.
Jason and Charlene rushed Megan to the hospital, where she was admitted almost immediately. As they would soon find out, their quick thinking had actually saved Megan’s life.
Doctors at the hospital ran a series of tests, including several MRIs and CT scans on the little girl’s brain. After hours of waiting, Jason and Charlene received the shocking diagnosis.
Air Force Reserve Command
The results of the scans revealed a massive tumor lodged in Megan’s brain. In fact, the doctors described the mass as nearly the size of a tangerine.
In order to remove the tumor, Megan would need to undergo an intensive, 12-hour surgery, with no guarantees that the doctors would be able to remove the mass. Jason and Charlene feared the worst for their little girl.
Charlene McCann / Facebook
Seeing no other option, Jason and Charlene consented to the surgery and waited breathlessly for half a day as doctors operated on Megan. For the young couple, the day’s events were a stark contrast to the carefree fun of the Halloween party just the night before.
After what seemed like an eternity for her anxious parents, Megan emerged from surgery. Although the doctors were able to successfully remove the tumor, Megan was left completely unable to talk.
After several speech therapy sessions, Megan’s ability to talk gradually began to return. At first, however, it was slow and incoherent, almost like the way she used to talk as a baby.
Charlene McCann / Facebook
Finally, after several months, Megan fully regained her speech. But the little girl wasn’t out of the woods just yet. As a result of the surgery, Megan’s vision had now deteriorated to only 3%, requiring her to use a walking stick to guide her steps.
SWNS TV / YouTube
Restorative surgery could potentially return Megan’s sight, but Jason and Charlene would have to face some big hurdles before that became a possibility.
For starters, the surgery wasn’t available in their home country of Scotland. And while there were doctors willing to perform the procedure in Berlin, Germany, the cost of the operation was well out of the family’s reach.
In order to give their daughter a chance to regain her sight, Jason and Charlene started a fundraising campaign on Facebook. With the help of generous donations, they hoped to raise $7,000, enough to cover airfare to and from Berlin as well as the cost of the surgery itself.
The fundraising page explained the work of the doctor she was hoping to see in Berlin, Anton Fedorov. A revolutionary mind in the field of restorative medicine, Fedorov founded the Center for Vision Restoration to help patients like Megan return to a normal life.
Jay Hus / Facebook
“Dr. Fedorov and his unique team have a course of therapeutical electrical stimulation,” read the Facebook page. “This treatment has worked on several people from all ages to restore their vision from 5 percent to 100 percent.”
Fedorov Restore Vision Clinic
According to Jason, he believed that Megan would also respond well to the procedure due to the tumor’s location. Since the mass had not permanently affected any vital parts of the brain, Fedorov and his team would most likely be able to completely restore her sight.
Fedorov Restore Vision Clinic / Facebook
As soon as the Facebook fundraiser went live, thousands of dollars began pouring in from all over the world. In fact, within just 56 days of starting the campaign, Jason and Charlene were nearly two-thirds of the way to their goal!
Charlene McCann / Facebook
While Megan waits for the remaining funds to be raised for her surgery, she has already begun adjusting to life without her vision. Not only has she mastered the use of her walking stick, but she has also learned to read braille.
Megan has managed to look past her disability and become an advocate. “I’d also like to help raise awareness and support brain tumor awareness week,” Megan wrote in a Facebook post. Unfortunately, the Evans aren’t the only family to experience such a close call with a seemingly small issue…
When the parents of 6-year-old Stella Robson noticed her eye was red and puffy, they assumed it was a simple eye infection. The doctors agreed and gave the Australian girl some antibiotics to clear it up.
They thought the problem would be solved after just a few days, yet Stella’s condition gradually became worse. Nervous, her mother, Gaylene, decided to seek a second opinion.
After the ophthalmologist recommended a CT scan and consultations with a team of doctors, it became clear that Stella had an unusual kind of cancerous tumor.
Called cell histiocytosis, the cancer attacked Stella’s bone tissue and then formed a tumor. Unfortunately, the cancer wasn’t caught until it had already started growing into the orbital bone around her eyeball.
Doctors had to act quickly; the tumor was growing rapidly and becoming more dangerous every second that passed. They admitted Stella for surgery as soon as they could.
Even though the surgery was a success, Stella wasn’t out of the woods yet. While most of the tumor around the eye was removed, she had to be scheduled for 12 weeks of chemotherapy to get rid of the remaining cancerous cells.
The chemotherapy was necessary to prevent the tumor from spreading to other parts of Stella’s body.
Stella “took it all in her stride,” said Gaylene. “She allowed us to do what she needed to do.” Incredibly, doctors now say that Stella is completely cancer-free!
It’s always a good idea to see a doctor if you or your children have a problem you suspect may be more serious than it looks—and to get a second opinion if necessary. It can truly be a matter of life and death! Even if it starts out as innocent as scraped knee.
Which is exactly what happened to three-year-old Abbi Holland from the U.K. when she tripped and scraped her knee while playing at her school. Staff thought that they had done everything they could by cleaning up the scrape, but they couldn’t have been more wrong.
Since the scrape hadn’t been cleaned or covered the way it should have been, and it became infected. Mere hours later, Abbi developed a fever of 109 degrees and was subsequently rushed to the hospital by her parents, Dave and Caz.
At the hospital, doctors tried to rid the infection with antibiotics, but that only gave her a severe allergic reaction. Even worse: Abbi had to stay in the hospital for four months, as the infection caused an aortic valve leak, which required surgery.
The situation escalated so quickly it was almost hard to believe what was going on was real. “To be told that they are going to have to stop your little girl’s heart and there’s no guarantee they will be able to start it again is terrifying,” David said in an interview.
“Then to hear that if they did manage to there was a chance she could be brain damaged— well you wouldn’t wish that on your worst enemy.” The doctor’s words were grave but Abbi’s family kept their thoughts positive and prayed for a miracle.
Thankfully, the surgery was a success, though the now-7-year-old Abbi will require future surgeries and medication for the rest of her life. Meanwhile, her parents hope that sharing Abbi’s story can educate people about the importance of first aid.
Her dad later clarified, “We are not trying to bad mouth or blacklist anyone, we just want to promote basic first aid and get the message out about how important it is. You just don’t think this could happen as a result of a fall in a playground.”
“It’s an eye-opener,” He continued, “that something so small and simple could be life-changing. Such a simple thing caused this and we wouldn’t want to see anyone go through what Abbi has been through.”