A brave four- year -old who defied doctors after surviving surgery to remove a brain tumour the size of a tennis ball has been described as a “fighter and an inspiration” by her family.
Mollie McDermott, whose mother Edel is from Hazelbank, has suffered paralysis along the right of her body and has physiotherapy for a number of ongoing problems.
Despite surgeons warning her family in July last year that the intensive surgery to remove the tumour might be too much for their daughter, Mollie underwent the procedure.
“She came out of it and we were really hopeful, the surgeons were also really hopeful that they’d gotten all of the tumour out but it turns out now that around 5 per cent of it is remaining,” Edel McDermott told the Sunday Journal.
“Mollie may have to have chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but she’s still so brave. She’s always smiling and she’s just a real wee princess.”
Edel will travel to Dun Laoghaire with Mollie in the coming weeks for intensive rehabilitation while her husband Philip remains at home to look after Mollie’s three brothers.
“She just amazes me but all I can do is watch her and she takes everything in her stride,” says Edel. “Even with the weakness on her right side, she just refers to it as her ‘sleepy hand’ and her ‘sleepy leg.”
Edel has now cut down her working hours as a care assistant to spend more time with Mollie and has started making hair bands and accessories to help support the family’s income.
Kind hearted family members have also distributed collection boxes in businesses across Derry to help raise money for Mollie and her parents.
“We’re really grateful for it all,” says Edel. “Because of her tumour Mollie will need a lot more support than other children, and any money raised will help give her every advantage that we can,” said Edel.
Edel said it was “frustrating” to watch her daughter’s condition and not be able to do anything about it.
“You feel powerless. If your child is sick, you just want to be able to make them better, and when you can’t you feel useless.
“We also have our three boys to think about but at the minute it’s killing me not to be able to make my little girl better,” said Edel.
The McDermott family live in Moville, but Edel has thanked people in Derry who have asked about Mollie and supported the family.
“We really thought this would be Mollie’ s year, but it looks like the battle’s not over so we need all the prayers we can get and I want to thank everybody who has sent us their best wishes. Now we just have to hope for the best from Mollie’s next MRI scan in Dublin and see where we go from there.”
Visit the Facebook page Mollie Dolly bobbels to find out more about how to donate to an appeal to help Mollie.