This is a thank you to Sheffield hospital staff who saved their daughter and got them through the  “most tortuous day” of their lives.

A five-year old who was born with a rare cancer, and whose life was saved many times by staff in Sheffield Children’s Hospital, will step out for its charity this summer.

By Sally Burton
Wednesday, 17 April, 2019, 11:27
Lucy Needham in her school uniform

Lucy Needham was diagnosed with a rare, malignant brain tumour at just 10 months old in August, 2014.

She subsequently underwent emergency brain surgery and several life-saving rounds of chemotherapy and stem cell treatment at Sheffield Children’s Hospital as she battled to stay alive.

Tracey Evison with daughter Lucy in Sheffield Children's Hospital

Despite an initial diagnosis of a milk allergy at her local hospital, Lucy’s brain tumour was discovered after an ultrasound revealed enlarged ventricles on her brain.

Mum Tracey Evison, 39, said: “We were transferred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital and a CT scan then revealed the tumour.

“Our world just came crashing down. She was so young and the prognosis was bleak.”

The following day, Lucy had emergency surgery which lasted for nine hours, described by her mum as ‘the longest, most tortuous day of our lives’.

Little Lucy Needham when she was being treated for cancer

Lucy began the first of several rounds of chemotherapy as they spent the next five months in the cancer and leukaemia ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Mum Tracey continued: “Lucy was very poorly during treatment. She gave us a scare more than once. But she received the most outstanding care at Sheffield Children’s Hospital and we will always be eternally grateful for that”.

While Lucy won her first battle, she has continued to fight many more since.

She lost her ability to swallow and is tube fed via a gastrostomy, while damage to her lungs also makes her prone to recurring chest infections and bouts of pneumonia.

Mum Tracey soon devoted any extra energy into helping the hospital which saved her daughter’s life:

“From very early on, fundraising became a focus for me and helped me to deal with a lot of what was going o,” she said.

“We have raised money for The Children’s Hospital Charity before as it’s a cause very close to our hearts.

“When I heard they were fundraising for a new cancer ward, I was absolutely delighted. The care from staff is outstanding and it would be so nice to help provide the facilities they deserve.

“Families on the ward spend a lot of time there and it needs to be a home from home as much as possible. A comfortable bed would have been a godsend, anything to try and make it easier for patients and families will be worthwhile.”

Lucy, and 35 of her family and friends, including many from Deer Park Primary School, Wingerworth, will step out on the Chatsworth Walk in June, to support the Sheffield Children’s Hospital charity, that helped her so much.

The sponsored walk around the Chatsworth Estate on June 23 has an option of 3km or 10km routes.

To sign up to the walk yourself visit: www.tchc.org.uk/events