A 15-year-old boy was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor after the NHS Wales canceled his MRI scan because of the Covid pandemic.
Noah Herniman’s annual routine brain scan has been canceled by the Aneurin Bevan University Health Department due to the pressure they have been exposed to from the pandemic.
He has neurofibromatosis, which means tumors grow on his nerve tissue, and months later an inoperable benign tumor was diagnosed in the core of his brain.
The 15-year-old from Chepstow has been known since childhood for his outstanding contribution to fundraising, which collected in particular for Llamau and women’s aid.
The teenager was amazed at the reaction of his community to the news of his brain tumor as they gathered around him and his family.
Noah Herniman’s annual routine brain scan has been canceled by the Aneurin Bevan University Health Department due to the pressure they have been exposed to from the pandemic. Months later, he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Pictured: Noah with mother Shelley
Speaking to WalesOnline, Noah’s mother Shelley said: “We had a call in May saying they had to see us and they said to us on the 30th.
“It was an absolute shock. Nigel [Noah’s dad] Was not allowed in with us, because we were only allowed in two because of Covid.
“In retrospect, if I had known what we were getting into, I would have gone in with Nigel and we would have told Noah.”
She said it was cruel because the family had watched football together in a stadium the night before but could not all go to the doctor together to get news of Noah’s diagnosis.
The 15-year-old would likely have been diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2020 had it not been for the pressure on healthcare caused by Covid.
It was a shock to the family, but his mother described her son as amazing and said he asked the doctor what treatment was available. Pictured: Noah
He would have started his treatment much earlier, but now has an 18-month cycle of chemotherapy, which he has been on for a few months.
Benign tumors are not cancerous and usually do not cause problems. However, they can be life-threatening if they press on vital nerves.
In Noah’s case, he cannot eat properly because of the location of the tumor in his brain.
It is in the area that controls the ability to swallow, so he is now fed via a feed line.
His mother said he has had problems swallowing since 2019, but signs that it could be a brain tumor have been overlooked.
However, she said she does not blame anyone for the predicament the family now finds themselves in, and said that in 2020 everything will be on hold, meaning Noah’s scan was not considered urgent.
Looking back, she says she wished the family had pushed for scans sooner, but they knew the pressures of Covid and believes it made them less intrusive about a scan.
Her sister works as a nurse and her niece and nephew work in hospitals and she has also lost friends to the coronavirus.
But the family now knows the scan may have been a turning point for their son.
She talked to her son’s family doctor about Noah’s gag reflex, but the prospect of being caused by a brain tumor was not mentioned during the conversation.
However, she said that in hindsight the signs were there as he was lethargic and was not eating well at the time.
But the family thought it was because Noah was home from school because of the pandemic.
It is unclear what the prospect for Noah will be, but they do know that there are others in their situation who she called “utterly heartbreaking”.
His mother said her son was remarkable and despite his treatment, he still managed to raise funds for women’s aid over the Christmas season.
Their church has rallied around them, and they come together on Christmas Eve to cheer Noah.
Pictured: Noah on the Newport Transporter Bridge in December 2020 to raise funds for Bullies Out where he is a Youth Ambassador
The Severn Tunnel marching band came to Noah’s doorstep to play Christmas carols for the family to replace their church visits. Neighbors and friends watched the Christmas carols and sang along.
There was also a Doctor Who Day organized for Noah by the Chepstow School that raised more than £ 2,300.
The day’s money was split between the Brain Tumor Trust and Children In Need.
The family is overwhelmed and grateful for the support they have received from their community.
A spokesman for the health committee at Aneurin Bevan University said: “All routine scans and procedures were postponed across the NHS at the start of the pandemic and this has unfortunately resulted in some delays in diagnosis. We are sorry to hear that Noah’s condition has worsened and our thoughts are with his family. “
Pictured: Noah (center) and his mother, father and brother Ashton Adams (back right)