A baby who survived a giant brain tumor returned home from the hospital to celebrate his first birthday surrounded by hundreds of birthday cards from around the world.
The brave Roux Owen was discharged from the hospital on his birthday after undergoing 10 surgeries to remove a tumor the size of two oranges in just 11 months.
His parents, Antony and Amy, 32, from Hull, East Yorkshire, had expected him to spend the day in the hospital and asked those well-wishers to send birthday cards to the ward.
But on his birthday they were told by doctors that he was going to be released and that he could return home to spend the day with his parents and his older brother Noah, three.
Roux Owen (pictured), one, was given the green light to return home on his first birthday, much to the delight of his family and the hundreds of well-wishers who had followed his journey when doctors discovered he had a benign brain tumor
The one year old returned to his home in Hull, East Yorkshire, to hundreds of cards from around the world, celebrating his special day with mom and dad Amy and Antony, 32, and older brother Noah, three (all pictured) )
The brave boy was discharged from hospital on his birthday after undergoing 10 operations to remove a tumor the size of two oranges in just 11 months. In the picture Roux after his seventh operation – a tumor removal – in January
A global army of well-wishers sent cards to the ward where Roux had spent nearly half his life since he was diagnosed with immature teratoma, a benign tumor that continues to grow.
"We were overwhelmed by the number of cards we received," said Father Antony, an English teacher.
“We had hundreds from all over the world, all the way to Nigeria. He touched so many people.
"It seems strange, but the love and support we've received from people means we've never felt alone during any of this."
Roux was diagnosed with a brain tumor last November when he was only four weeks old after his parents feared he was not feeding properly.
Doctors at Hull Royal Infirmary brought the dead to Leeds General Infirmary, more than 50 miles from the family home, for special treatment.
Roux had spent almost half of his life diagnosing immature teratoma, a benign tumor that continues to grow. Pictured on the left after his eighth operation to remove the remaining part of the tumor in August and on the right after his first operation in November when he was just one month old
After his parents were concerned that he was not feeding properly, they took him to the doctors and eventually he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in November last year when he was only four weeks old after his parents were concerned that he was not feeding properly . Pictured just taken by the High Dependency Department, August 2020
After eight major surgeries, the tumor was permanently removed last month and he began to recover at home.
What is Immature Teratoma?
An immature teratoma is a type of germ cell tumor that is often composed of different types of tissue, including hair, muscle, and bone.
They have cells that look different than normal cells under a microscope and are typically cancerous.
In some cases, immature teratomas can spread to other parts of the body.
The benign tumors make enzymes or hormones that can cause signs and symptoms of disease.
In newborns, immature teratomas are usually located in the sacraments – a triangular bone at the base of the spine or tailbone.
It can also appear in the ovaries when girls start puberty.
But Roux was rushed back to the hospital last week after it infected and blocked a shunt that was inserted into his head to remove excess fluid and reduce swelling in the brain.
It took two more surgeries to repair the shunt and drain fluid from his brain.
"The tumor was four inches long and cysts appeared," said Antony. "A surgeon said to me it's the kind of thing you would see in a career, if anything."
Mother Amy, an elementary school teacher, had kept an online diary of the family's journey, and Roux had amassed a legion of well-known well-wishers.
When it was feared that Roux would be spending his first birthday in the hospital, Antony reached out to her followers and asked for birthday cards to make his day special.
They received the best birthday present when the family doctors told the family Roux was healthy enough to go home.
The tumor did not show Roux in the left eye and doctors believe that it was a few months ago.
But his happy personality inspired his parents to hope that he would keep up with his development.
Antony said: & # 39; Doctors said his development was a bit lagging and his motor skills and core strength are not what they should be.
“They said they couldn't be sure if there was something he couldn't do until it got to that point in his development.
“He's such a happy, sedentary boy and he does things and hits his milestones just a little later than he normally would have. But he spent about six months in a hospital bed, that's probably why. & # 39;
The doctors at Hull Royal Infirmary brought the dead to Leeds General Infirmary – more than 50 miles from the family home – for special treatment. Pictured Roux at Leeds General Infirmary after his ninth operation (left) and after an operation when he was younger in December (right).
Roux's mother Amy, an elementary school teacher, kept an online diary of the family's journey, and the boy had amassed a legion of well-respected well-wishers
The well-wishers sent him hundreds of first birthday cards with sweet messages after following his journey in the first year of his life
And now they hope to make up for the lost time and enjoy family life together with Roux and Noah, who have hardly seen each other in the past year.
Antony added, “Last year has been just as difficult for Noah, I can't imagine how it felt for him.
“Noah and Roux are closely related, but last time they should have done everything brothers should do.
“We're really looking forward to seeing you together. We look forward to it the most.
Fearing that Roux might be spending his first birthday in the hospital, parents urged his online followers to send him cards to make him a special day. Pictured, Roux is enjoying a family vacation in Great Yarmouth with father Antony (left) in August, sitting up after his ninth operation (right)
The tumor did not show Roux in the left eye and doctors believe that it was a few months ago. In the picture Roux outside in his garden at home
The baby spent some time in the intensive care unit at Leeds General Infirmary after its 4th surgery in December (left picture) but was lucky enough to leave the hospital for Christmas Day (right).
Despite the possibility of setbacks in his development due to the condition, his parents are confident that his happy personality will help him catch up. Pictured, beaming mother Amy with son Roux at home in Hull, East Yorks
"We can't wait to do all the normal, boring family things together that we couldn't do last year."
The family has raised more than £ 30,000 for Leeds Cares, a charity that supports Ward 52, where Roux was treated during his hospital stays.
"I can't express how great the Leeds General staff are," said Amy. "The surgeons, nurses, doctors, game masters, janitors, and every other person involved in Roux's trip.
“The station that mostly looked after Roux, L52, is a special place run by a team of very special people.
“Day after day, they did everything to ensure that Roux received the best possible care. Words will never be enough to express how much L52 means to our family.
“You gave us a future for our little boy that at one point we never thought we would have. It will always have a very precious place in our hearts.
"Perhaps Roux was always destined to start his first birthday surrounded by the people who made it happen."
Visit Owen's fundraising page to donate.
Roux's parents hope he and his brother can form an even closer relationship now as they can spend time together at home after the baby's long hospitalization after being apart for so long. Pictured Roux in the intensive care unit at Leeds General Infirmary after his fifth operation in December
The family came home to hundreds of first birthday cards featuring Baby Shark, Thomas the Tank Engine, and other cute cartoons and was filled with sweet messages from well-wishers
The family has raised more than £ 30,000 for Leeds Cares, a charity that supports Ward 52, where Roux was treated during his hospital stays. In the picture father Antony and Roux at home
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