Katie, our only daughter, was just 10 when she was diagnosed on 28th February 2008 with a Diffuse Pontine Glioma (DPG or DIPG), a brain tumour on her brain stem. Always a lively, lovely girl who loved riding her pony Bennie. Katie also adored going to Highland, tap and stage dancing in Hawick. She was a fantastic dancer and spent hours practising in front of the mirror in her bedroom. Katie was in primary 6 at Kirkhope Primary School (Ettrickbridge) when she fell ill. Over a period of 5-6 weeks Katie had progressively begun to suffer dizziness, felt nauseous occasionally and lost her confidence. After several visits to doctors Katie was referred to the Borders General Hospital for a MRI scan. Never in a million years could we have imagined we would then be told that Katie had a ‘terminal’ illness, and the consultant thought she would survive “six, nine months, maybe a year”.
Katie had radio- and chemotherapy for 6 weeks. Very quickly she was in a wheelchair and unable to walk. At the end of May, having had an operation to remove fluid from her brain, doctors told us that they could not offer any more treatment as Katie’s blood counts had suffered so badly from the chemotherapy. By the end of June, Katie could not move, talk or eat.
Having been pushed into a corner we started to see a Healer. Katie soon showed a remarkable improvement and was able to chat, draw, go to the local pub for her favourite meal and give her two brothers cheek again!
Sadly after 3 months Katie’s health deteriorated again, but we never gave up hope and always remained positive, looking to a time in the future when Katie would recover. On 27th January 2009 Katie passed away. She suffered respiratory failure. All our hope for helping her recover had gone and life for our family has a huge gap.