Ask any parent, and they’ll tell you that one of the most precious sights in the world is seeing their child smile. But what happens when instead of bringing happiness, a child’s smile causes fear and panic for everyone in the room?
When one Scottish couple noticed something strange about their young daughter’s smile, they dropped everything and rushed her to the hospital. This quick thinking may have actually saved the little girl’s life!
Megan Evans was a normal seven-year-old girl to parents Jason Evans and Charlene McCann. Described as a “wee diva” by her mother, Megan was a lover of gymnastics, cheerleading, and the dramatic arts.
But during a children’s Halloween party in 2017, Megan and her parents’ lives were turned upside down. As Megan was enjoying the festivities with her friends, her parents noticed something strange about their little girl.
According to Jason, Megan’s smile had gone completely crooked. While the other parents were convinced that it was only a muscle spasm, Jason and Charlene couldn’t ignore the sirens going off in their heads.
Jason and Charlene rushed Megan to the hospital, where she was admitted almost immediately. As they would soon find out, their quick thinking had actually saved Megan’s life.
Doctors at the hospital ran a series of tests, including several MRIs and CT scans on the little girl’s brain. After hours of waiting, Jason and Charlene received the shocking diagnosis.
The results of the scans revealed a massive tumor lodged in Megan’s brain. In fact, the doctors described the mass as nearly the size of a tangerine.
In order to remove the tumor, Megan would need to undergo an intensive, 12-hour surgery, with no guarantees that the doctors would be able to remove the mass. Jason and Charlene feared the worst for their little girl.
Seeing no other option, Jason and Charlene consented to the surgery and waited breathlessly for half a day as doctors operated on Megan. For the young couple, the day’s events were a stark contrast to the carefree fun of the Halloween party just the night before.
After what seemed like an eternity for her anxious parents, Megan emerged from surgery. Although the doctors were able to successfully remove the tumor, Megan was left completely unable to talk.
After several speech therapy sessions, Megan’s ability to talk gradually began to return. At first, however, it was slow and incoherent, almost like the way she used to talk as a baby.
Finally, after several months, Megan fully regained her speech. But the little girl wasn’t out of the woods just yet. As a result of the surgery, Megan’s vision had now deteriorated to only 3%, requiring her to use a walking stick to guide her steps.
Restorative surgery could potentially return Megan’s sight, but Jason and Charlene would have to face some big hurdles before that became a possibility.
For starters, the surgery wasn’t available in their home country of Scotland. And while there were doctors willing to perform the procedure in Berlin, Germany, the cost of the operation was well out of the family’s reach.
In order to give their daughter a chance to regain her sight, Jason and Charlene started a fundraising campaign on Facebook. With the help of generous donations, they hoped to raise $7,000, enough to cover airfare to and from Berlin as well as the cost of the surgery itself.
The fundraising page explained the work of the doctor she was hoping to see in Berlin, Anton Fedorov. A revolutionary mind in the field of restorative medicine, Fedorov founded the Center for Vision Restoration to help patients like Megan return to a normal life.
“Dr. Fedorov and his unique team have a course of therapeutical electrical stimulation,” read the Facebook page. “This treatment has worked on several people from all ages to restore their vision from 5 percent to 100 percent.”
According to Jason, he believed that Megan would also respond well to the procedure due to the tumor’s location. Since the mass had not permanently affected any vital parts of the brain, Fedorov and his team would most likely be able to completely restore her sight.
As soon as the Facebook fundraiser went live, thousands of dollars began pouring in from all over the world. In fact, within just 56 days of starting the campaign, Jason and Charlene were nearly two-thirds of the way to their goal!
While Megan waits for the remaining funds to be raised for her surgery, she has already begun adjusting to life without her vision. Not only has she mastered the use of her walking stick, but she has also learned to read braille.
But most impressive of all, Megan has managed to look past her disability and become an advocate. “I’d also like to help raise awareness and support brain tumor awareness week,” Megan wrote in a Facebook post.
In the face of such tragedy, it’s amazing to see Megan making the best of her situation and working to spread awareness of her disease.
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