Letchworth mum in battle to get her ill son diagnosed

Noah Masters-Rushen, 7, was diagnosed with a life threatening brain abscess which required emergency

Noah Masters-Rushen, 7, was diagnosed with a life threatening brain abscess which required emergency surgery to drain it. Noah is pictured with his mum Georgina at home - Credit: Archant

A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD boy who needed major life-saving surgery after developing a brain abcess was sent home from hospital three times, because doctors claimed he just had a migraine.

Mum Georgina Masters, from Glebe Road, Letchworth GC, said had it not have been for her gut feeling, son Noah Masters-Rushen might not be alive today.

The 44-year-old says she knew something was seriously wrong when Noah kept complaining of headaches.

It took Lister Hospital a week to do an MRI scan, which revealed the Icknield Infant School pupil was not suffering from a migraine like doctors had said, but a rare and life threatening brain abscess which required emergency surgery.

Noah was originally taken to his GP, who diagnosed a virus, before he began deteriorating.


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“He was sick everywhere and all of a sudden his eyes began to roll up and he was foaming at the mouth, he wasn’t responding and going in and out consciousness,” said Miss Masters.

The mother-of-four rushed her son to Lister, where medical staff gave him antibiotics and moved him into the resuscitation room.

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They did a blood test and discharged him, but he was sick again the next day.

Miss Masters dialled 999 and Noah was taken back to hospital where doctors diagnosed him with a migraine.

She said: “He was in excruciating pain, it was pitiful but he was again pumped with antibiotics and we were sent home.

“Over the next two days I kept thinking this is more than just a migraine, so I took him back to hospital and said to the doctors I was not going to leave until they found out what was wrong with him.”

After Noah’s condition was finally diagnosed, he was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge where he stayed for two weeks.

He had to undergo three-hour brain surgery, where doctors drilled into his skull to remove the abscess.

“Had an MRI scan been done sooner, Noah may not have had brain surgery. He still has to take epilepsy tablets as a result of the surgery and he would not have been in so much pain,” said Miss Masters.

“I knew something wasn’t right with him but you trust the professionals. It was scary. It could have killed him. If parents or carers think it’s more severe don’t give up, be persistent. I felt like I was wasting their time, and I wish I had been more forceful with my action.”

Although Noah underwent surgery in December, Miss Masters has only just shared his story because of the treatment he was undergoing.

Dr Linda Struthers, divisional chairman for children’s service for East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, said: “When Noah’s mother brought him in on November 15, his symptoms could have been caused by a number of different conditions. A plan was made according to the symptoms he was showing and in addition, as infection can be a cause of the pattern of symptoms he presented with, a course of antibiotics was prescribed. “His case shows why patients need to be vigilant and listen to their instincts. Noah’s mother did the right thing – she followed the treatment path and when he failed to respond, she brought him back so that we could look at what else might be going on for him.”

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