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Gary's back at school - but part-time

PUBLISHED: 14:15 05 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:36 03 March 2010

A BRAVE 11-year-old boy struck down with a rare brain tumour found in only a handful of children each year is receiving VIP treatment from his friends as he returns to school today.

A BRAVE 11-year-old boy struck down with a rare brain tumour found in only a handful of children each year is receiving VIP treatment from his friends as he returns to school today.

As many children prepare to start new schools across the county, Gary Oates has more reasons than most to be excited.

For as he returns to Stowmarket Middle School his friends will be there to greet him in style.

Gary from Purcell Road in the town, underwent a delicate ten hour operation to remove a tumour from his brain at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, and needed five weeks intensive care afterwards.

He was left unable to speak and had only limited use of his arms and legs after the operation in September last year. He also needed chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment and has been frequently sick.

Gary has long been dreaming to returning to school full-time where he will be reunited with all his friends. Now able to walk some distance with the help of a frame and speak, albeit not perfectly, he is raring to return.

Gary, who has been having private tuition and part-time schooling, will go back to school full-time after half term next month.

From today he will return to school for some of the lessons as he eases gently back after the summer.

His mother Lynda, 43, and father Giles, 45, are so pleased with how he is progressing.

Mrs Oates, said: "He is really looking forward to getting back, although he does not have quite enough energy yet to stay the whole day, because he will come back white and drained.

"The headteacher says they must be doing something wrong to have children quite so keen to go back to school.''

The school have rearranged for his English class to be held on the ground floor after stairs proved too much and friends wheel him around the school in a chair.

Mrs Oates, who runs a holiday rental home business, said: "The school and his friends have been brilliant. Gary is doing really well, and is so much better. He still can not walk independently for any length of time, but he is getting there.''

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