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30th Jan 2023

Little boy dies of cancer after doctors ignored mother’s concerns six times

Charlie Herbert

After an MRI scan, doctors discovered a 4cm tumour on his brain

A “healthy, active” little boy whose headaches turned out to be a brain tumour died just four months after his diagnosis, despite his mother warning doctors on multiple occasions about his illness.

Rayhan Majid, aged four, died after doctors discovered an aggressive grade three medulloblastoma tumour touching his brainstem.

His mother Nadia, 45, took Rayhan to see four different GPs on six separate occasions after he started having bad headaches and being sick in October 2017.

None of them concluded that anything was seriously wrong with the youngster, but when his headaches didn’t clear up Nadia rushed him to A&E at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

Once there, an MRI scan revealed a 3cm x 4cm mass in his brain.

Nadia, from Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, said: “Rayhan was a healthy and active boy who played football and did Taekwondo and swimming.

“He was never sick but, in October 2017, when he was four years old, he woke up crying one evening.

“When I went to him, he wasn’t quite aware of himself.

“He was clutching his head and saying that it was hot, but I couldn’t make eye contact or get through to him.

“He started to wake up in the night with a headache quite a few times, and he would be sick in the morning.

“It wasn’t like normal sickness. He would be retching and all that came out was bile. That’s when my alarm bells started ringing. We just knew something wasn’t right, so we took him to the doctors.”

Nadia said the GPs “were not very helpful” and that Rayhan would “pass the neurological tests with flying colours,” causing doctors to conclude he was “absolutely fine.”

But the headaches weren’t going away and carried on getting sick.

Nadia continued: “Over the course of six weeks, we took him to see four different GPs on six separate occasions.

“When Rayhan watched TV, he kept saying he couldn’t hear it and he turned it up really loud.

“We also noticed when he was walking through doorways in the house, he wasn’t negotiating the door frames very well and he would wobble into them.

“We were convinced something was wrong with him but didn’t want to keep going back to the GPs who were dismissing us.

“Eventually, we decided to take him to the Accident and Emergency department at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.”

Once the tumour was discovered, Rayhan underwent surgery to remove as much of the mass as possible.

He was told he would need six weeks of radiotherapy and four months of chemotherapy.

But before he was even able to start the treatment, another MRI scan revealed that the cancer had spread.

Nadia, who is also the mother to Eliza, aged five, and Zak, 14, added: “After the operation Rayhan developed cerebellar mutism and couldn’t speak or walk.

“He went from being this vibrant boy who was full of energy and laughter to being silent and unable to move.

“From his expressions we could see that he was in pain, but he couldn’t tell us what was wrong.”

After just one round of chemotherapy, Rayhan died on April 7, 2018 in the arms of Nadia and his dad Sarfraz.

Nadia and her family are now taking on a 10,000 steps a day challenge to raise money for Brain Tumour Research, with the aim of raising £4,000 for the charity.

So far, they’ve received more than £3,000 in donations for the cause.

Matthew Price, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research said: “We’re really grateful to Nadia and the Remembering Rayhan team for taking on our 10,000 Steps a Day in February challenge as it’s only with the support of people like them that we’re able to progress our research into brain tumours and improve the outcome for patients who are forced to fight this awful disease.”

To donate visit the WalkForRayhan JustGiving page and find the team member you wish to sponsor.