Barnham family’s fight to highlight cancer

Tyler Murphy and his mother Janice Ellis SUS-140314-132826001
Tyler Murphy and his mother Janice Ellis SUS-140314-132826001

A FAMILY is raising awareness after four years spent battling an unexpected illness.

Tyler Murphy, from Barnham, was diagnosed with a brain tumour when he was just 12 years old.

Now, the brave teenager is not only fighting for his health but also working to raise awareness about the illness which changed his life.

“About four years ago Tyler started suffering with the most dreadful headaches,” said Janice, Tyler’s mother.

“He was being sick and it was always at night-time. Initially, the GP said it was migraines. In the end we got him to the point where he could have an MRI scan.

“The consultant met us at the entrance to the ward and told us he had ‘the worst news for you and we need to get him to Southampton hospital now’.”

Tyler, who is now 16, was rushed to Southampton Hospital where he had emergency life-saving surgery.

Doctors were unable to remove all of the tumour and Tyler’s eyesight was damaged by the surgery.

Tyler then spent the next two years in and out of hospital.

“He did fantastically,” said Janice.

“He got himself out of the wheelchair. But the damage to his eyesight is permanent.”

Tyler has had about ten operations, but last year the tumour began to grow again.

Despite suffering from the illness during his teenage years, Tyler has remained positive and made a DVD for the Brain Tumour Charity to raise awareness for tumours in young people.

He has also been contacted to appear on Children in Need.

The family has been helped by the Snowdrop Trust, which provides care at home for children with life-threatening illnesses and also helps families financially.

Janice also praised the staff at Howard ward at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester.

Tyler is a twin and his brother Ben has been supporting him through his treatment.

“He has been amazing,” said Janice.

“It is really hard for the sibling, particularly with the radiotherapy, where we had to up sticks for six weeks.”

The twins were both students at St Philip Howard in Barnham and are currently studying at Chichester College.