Boy, 3, told by doctors his symptoms were ‘attention seeking’ found to have aggressive brain tumour

Arthur Ridout was finally diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour after his parents spent months begging doctors to take his symptoms seriously

A little boy whose symptoms were allegedly dismissed by a doctor as “attention-seeking” turned out to be caused by a life-threatening brain tumour.

Arthur Ridout, 3, spent months travelling back and forth to the doctors with his parents who begged medics to take his symptoms seriously.

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His mum Lauren repeatedly took her son to the hospital after he kept complaining about dizzy spells, nausea and headaches, and was left outraged at what she said was the dmissmal of his symptoms.

Arthur was finally diagnosed with an aggressive medulloblastoma (Photo: Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)

It took two months of visits to their GP and various hospitals before the three-year-old was finally diagnosed with an aggressive medulloblastoma, the most common type of cancerous brain tumour in children.

Arthur is now undergoing gruelling treatment and his dad Simon Ridout, 39, is fundraising for the Brain Tumour Research charity to help find a cure for the cancer.

‘It was a huge shock’

Arthur first began to show symptoms at nursery in December 2021 where staff noticed he was unstable on his feet, needed more naps and had to be sent home with sickness several times.

Concerned mum Lauren took him to the GP after he repeatedly complained of dizzy spells and headaches.

She said that she was simply told to “keep an eye on him” and after a second GP visit, he was referred to a paediatrician.

However, before he could be seen he was rushed to A&E after falling ill while out in the park with his mum on 5 February.

The three-year-old is now undergoing treatment (Photo: Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)

Cattle farmer Simon, who lives in East Chelborough near Evershot with his wife Lauren, son Arthur, 3, and son Fred, 5, explained: “Lauren went down a slide with him on her lap and when they got to the bottom, he was dizzy and wanted to lie down in the dirt.

"When they got to A&E, they saw a few different medics and one of them suggested that Arthur could have been attention-seeking, which made us really cross."

The youngster returned to the hospital two days later to see an optometrist and had a scan the following day where his parents were finally told what had been making him ill.

The scam revealed that a brain tumour the size of a plum, called an aggressive medulloblastoma, had been causing Arthur’s symptoms.

Simon recalled: “It was a huge shock. We did a lot of crying.

"They sent us in an ambulance up the M5 to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. When we got there, we met a surgeon, who explained that Arthur’s tumour was causing hydrocephalus, a build-up of fluid resulting in pressure on the brain."

The toddler endured five lumbar punctures in five weeks to confirm no spread of the cancer to his spine before undergoing emergency surgery to relieve the cranial pressure on 8 February.

Two days later he was back in theatre for a 13-hour operation to remove the tumour.

Although the surgery was a success, he developed posterior fossa syndrome - a common occurrence with the removal of medulloblastoma in children - and had to learn to eat, talk, move and walk again.

The brave little boy endured a gruelling six week course of head and spine radiotherapy and is now able to move around using a walker, and is starting to form sentences again.

But his fight is far from over as he will soon undergo eight rounds of chemotherapy to prevent the tumour from growing back.

‘We’re so proud of him’

Inspired by his son, Simon is now raising money for Brain Tumour Research to help find a cure for the cancer by taking part in the charity’s ‘Jog 26.2 Miles in May Challenge’.

Simon, who admits he is “not a runner”, said: "More awareness needs to be raised and I’m keen to do whatever I can to help.

"It’s been a life-changing few months for my family and it’s given me a new perspective on everything.

"Before Arthur’s diagnosis, I spent a lot of my life working and probably not enough time with my wife and children. I’m re-assessing everything now and family life will definitely be prioritised."

Arthur will soon undergo eight rounds of chemotherapy (Photo: Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)

He added: "We’re so proud of him. The fundraiser is definitely a challenge for me; although I’m physically strong, I’m not a runner.

"I thought people would find it amusing to see a 6ft, 18 stone, farmer running around the fields and footpaths of rural Dorset. I haven’t done any running since school and even then, I was quite lazy.

"Aside from the comedy element of my running challenge, there’s a very serious message about the severe lack of funding for brain tumour research, which I’m hoping to get out there."

Community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, Mel Tiley said: "Arthur’s story is a stark reminder of how indiscriminate brain tumours are, affecting anyone at any time.

"We’re determined to improve the shocking statistics surrounding the disease and are grateful for supporters like Simon who, by taking part in challenges like this, will enable us to continue funding vital research and, ultimately, find a cure.

"We wish Arthur the best of luck for the next stage of treatment and are thinking of him and his family at this time."

To support Simon’s fundraising, you can make a donation via his Facebook page.