Family's agony as daughter, aged 7, battles rare cancer
THE three hours waiting were almost unbearable for Rachel Lewis.
Her daughter, Ellie-Louise, was undergoing surgery to remove a 12cm tumour attached to one of her ovaries.
The seven-year-old had been diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer just days before.
Rachel, 25, of Fraser Square, Carlton, said: "We were waiting up in intensive care – I was just panicking. It was the longest three hours of my life."
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Ellie-Louise had been unwell with stomach ache for a few days when her mum began to worry.
A trip to the family's GP on January 18 led to Ellie-Louise being rushed to hospital, where tests showed she had a juvenile granulosa cell tumour of the ovary.
Rachel, who also has an 18-month-old son called Lewis, said: "I thought I was going to lose her – she was really ill."
Ellie-Louise's grandad and Rachel's dad, Alex Lewis, who lives in Netherfield, said that looked like Ellie had two footballs in her belly.
He added: "When we first saw her in hospital we didn't think she was going to make it. The weight of it was stopping her breathing. If I could have taken it off her, I would. I'd have preferred it to be me."
The 48-year-old feels huge gratitude to the staff that saved his daughter's life.
He said: "They couldn't have given anything more."
The family are also intending to pay the staff at Nottingham Children's Hospital back with various fundraising efforts for the Children's Cancer Ward.
Alex said: "My other daughter is going into Netherfield Primary School and is going to shave her hair off to be the same as Ellie for sponsorship.
"We're also looking to do a skydive. Obviously with the contribution the ward's given to helping with care we want to give something back."
Ellie-Louise had to have an ovary removed, but it is not thought this will affect her ability to have children.
Angela Horsley, clinical lead at the hospital, said: "We are very grateful to the Lewis family for their fundraising efforts. Our children's cancer wards offer some of the highest-quality care in the country and all the money raised will be used to bring the ward environment up to those high standards."
For Rachel Lewis though, even more important is seeing her daughter recover permanently.
The youngster will have four sessions of chemotherapy over three months and will have MRI scans every three months to check she is OK.
Rachel said: "She usually does not stop, but she's very quiet at the moment.
"She's usually the loudest. She used to love swimming but because she can't now. She's upset about that.
"She loves singing and dancing and loves One Direction – it does my head in.
"Hopefully nothing will come back, but it's still scary. The main thing is being there for her."
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