Brave battle | 

Family of teen with five brain tumours raising funds to help her get €120k surgery

When she was just three months old, the Tipperary girl was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1).

Ashleigh Prout (15)

Clodagh Meaney

The family of a brave teenager with five brain tumours are raising funds to help her get treatment in London.

Ashleigh Prout (13) has had life-long illnesses which have severely impacted her quality of life.

When she was just three months old, the Tipperary girl was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1).

NF1 is a condition characterised by changes in skin colouring (pigmentation) and the growth of tumours along nerves in the skin, brain, and other parts of the body.

As a baby she experienced tube feeding, broken education leading to full time home education, limited playtime, along with frequent benign tumours.

When she was three she suffered an optic nerve glioma, a benign growth behind her eye, that is leading to reduced eyesight and she has no peripheral vision at present.

Ashleigh is currently attending the National Council for the Blind of Ireland in Kilkenny where she is learning to use a cane.

In 2018 she had a stroke which left her wheelchair bound for almost two years.

During that time in 2019, she underwent scoliosis surgery which saw rods placed in her back for spinal fusion in hopes of straightening her curved spine.

Although her treatment gave her back some mobility, she was forced to travel to Portland hospital in London as further care was beyond the ability of Irish hospitals.

There she had an MRI scan, which indicated further tumours, five which were found in her brain.

Her mental health has been affected, and she also lives with Tourettes, ADHD, OCD and a form of autism.

During her short 15 years of life, Ashleigh has seen more than many adults will see in their lifetime.

Her relatives Alli and Martin Prout are now fundraising to bring her back to Portland Hospital in London to have the five brain tumours removed.

The procedure will cost approximately £100,000 (€119,000) and possibly even more.

“The mental stress that Ashleigh is under has meant that as a 13-year-old, her life has halted,” an online fundraiser reads.

“Her education has slowed due to failure to hold memory and seen many of her friends move to second level school, her mental health has shown signs of depression and withdrawal from normal interaction for her age.”

The GoFundMe page further asks for any donation no matter how small to help Ashleigh live a normal life.

“Your donation will mean we can move her operation date closer to reality than a point in the future.”

“Your help is for a child that gives joy freely, one that inspires, one that will lead to this child playing , going to school and becoming the teenager she so wants to be.”

You can donate to Ashleigh’s GoFundMe page here.

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