Delight for Shona

SHE has delighted doctors alike and left her parents completely overjoyed – Shona Gill is on the mend today after major surgery to save her life.After a four-hour operation to remove a tumour which doctors believed had wrapped itself around Shona's blood vessels and arteries, the nine-year-old is on her feet again and has returned to her Ipswich home.

SHE has delighted doctors alike and left her parents completely overjoyed - Shona Gill is on the mend today after major surgery to save her life.

After a four-hour operation to remove a tumour which doctors believed had wrapped itself around Shona's blood vessels and arteries, the nine-year-old is on her feet again and has returned to her Ipswich home.

Shona was diagnosed with a rare soft tissue cancer for a second time earlier this year and the prognosis looked bleak for the Stoke Park youngster.

The findings of her initial scan revealed dark patches in much of her stomach and doctors feared surgery could mean the loss of her bladder and bowel.


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But in a major operation last week doctors discovered the tumour was much smaller than first expected and surgery proved much less severe.

Shona's mum Tracy said: "The surgeon said it was almost as if someone had got the remains of a bucket of concrete and chucked it inside her and it splattered everywhere. They are taking that away and testing it to see what it is but they think it is dead tissue. The tumour was contained in that.

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"The scan showed up all of this stuff and made the tumour look bigger than it actually was."

Shona's surgeon had booked the operating theatre, at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, for the whole day believing Shona's operation could take more than 12 hours to complete.

After just four hours Shona was awake and chatting her surgeon in the operating theatre - that night she was back on the ward.

Mrs Gill added: "By the third day she was in a wheelchair and once her catheter and epidural came out there was no stopping her.

"I can't believe it - I never dreamt she would come out like this not in a million years."

There were fears prior to the surgery that Shona could lose her bowel, bladder, one of her ovaries and the use of one of her legs but the results of the operation were much less severe.

Mrs Gill said: "They didn't have to cut through her nerves or anything on her leg. They had to take her right ovary because it was quite mangled with the tumour. They didn't have to take her bladder and they just shaved it away from the bowel.

"The surgeon said all he could say to us is that he has weeded the flower bed and everything looks lovely but he cannot promise there aren't a few seeds left.

"We are not of the woods yet."

For the time being though Shona is on the mend and is walking once again. She will have to have more chemotherapy but at the moment claims she is in no pain.

It is this positively and zest for life that led her parents to name the youngster's appeal fund Shona's Smile Appeal.

The fund was created in April to raise cash to send the youngster to the United States for treatment. It was believed surgery there would be less severe.

The plan was put on hold because Shona had already begun chemotherapy in England and the American hospital would only take her if she had had no treatment.

Money raised from Shona's Smile Appeal will now be used if Shona needs additional treatment. The remainder will be donated to charities researching Shona's condition.

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