From patient to fundraiser

Meet former patient, Cameron, who talks here about having brain surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and how he persuaded his boss to donate a cocktail master class for 10 for the very first Give to GOSH auction.

During a family skiing trip, 10-year-old Cameron described feeling ‘a bit fuzzy around the edges’. He recalled, “I would wake up in the morning with a headache, feeling sick, and then being sick. Once I’d been sick I would feel fine. I’d then go down to breakfast and stuff my face with pancakes and go out skiing all day. Mum said to one of our friends, ‘if I didn’t know better I’d think he’d been drinking and was suffering from a hangover’.”

Thinking nothing of it, the family continued with their holiday, returning home on Sunday night. A routine eye test the following day picked up pressure on his optic nerve and he was referred to the family’s local hospital for an MRI scan of his brain. Cameron said, “That’s when I first heard the words brain tumour.”

Referral to GOSH

Cameron was swiftly referred to GOSH for specialist care under the hospital’s neurological team – he had a seven-hour operation where surgeons carefully removed most of the tumour which went from the size of an orange to roughly the size of a golf ball.

“My parents said it was the longest day of their lives,” said Cameron.

After just five days Cameron was allowed to go home, going back to school just ten days after brain surgery. Cameron said, “I had to wear a hat for the following months to protect my scar from the sunlight. It also reminded my friends, that although I looked fine on the outside, my brain had been through a lot.”

Cameron says his time at the hospital has had a big impact on him and that the specialist team included ‘the most amazing people he has ever met’. “The thing I remember most about my stay at GOSH is all the staff. Every time I would go back for a check-up I’d see them, they are always smiling and really chatty.

“I really admire the doctors and nurses, they are the reason I’m still here today,” he said.

Since his operation Cameron has helped to raise funds for the hospital by speaking at events to tell his story. He first stood up to speak at the age of 11, just a year after his surgery, more recently he spoke at the GOSH Rugby Gala.

As a bartender at top cocktail destination, the London Academy of Bartending (LAB) in Soho, Cameron is urging readers to dig deep for the Give to GOSH appeal to help patients like him and has convinced his boss to donate a cocktail master class for 10 to our Give to GOSH auction, which you can bid on here.

He said, “For me, Give to GOSH is about giving something back to the hospital that saved my life. I never expected to be needing them, no one ever does; as this stuff only happens to other people and their children; I’m eternally grateful that GOSH was there for me.”

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