Boy lands place at university four years after brain tumour diagnosis

A boy with a brain injury has secured a place at university four years after being diagnosed with a brain tumour the size of a golf ball.

Alex Barton from Hertfordshire will start at the University of Leicester in 2018. He will study Applied and Environmental Geology and hopes to be a geologist in the future. Miles, Alex’s Dad, said: “I am so proud of Alex, he's truly amazing. There were lots of tears when he collected his results.”

Alex was 15 when he noticed a weakness in his right hand was preventing him from playing his guitar properly. An MRI scan and biopsy revealed an inoperable brain tumour sitting on his brainstem. Proton beam therapy took place in the USA to try to stop Alex’s tumour in its tracks. Alex returned home a few months later, but soon after became unwell and needed emergency surgery to drain a large build-up of fluid that damaged his brain. Three months of intensive neuro-rehabilitation followed at The Children’s Trust, with Alex accessing therapies to help improve his cognition, communication and confidence. Therapies included occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and play therapy. As a result of his brain injury, Alex faces some ongoing challenges including memory problems and fatigue. Alex’s mother, Anne, said she was ‘so, so happy that he [Alex] can do what his passion is’. Speaking to The Hertfordshire Mercury she thanked The Children’s Trust and Chauncy School for their help. Anne explained that Alex’s difficulties made revision difficult and said: “I can't overstate how fantastic Chauncy were with him. They were supportive and inclusive. "At one point there were a dozen people sitting around one of the meetings we had with regards to getting Alex up and running in school. "He often revised at school. A lot of different people invested in his potential." Alex was applauded by Dalton Leong, chief executive at The Children’s Trust. Dalton also thanked Alex for raising awareness of brain injury saying: “We are very grateful for the invaluable contribution Alex makes to The Children’s Trust, helping to raise money for the charity and supporting and inspiring other young people with brain injury.”  Alex received his A-level results two weeks ago and has deferred his university place for one year. He is enjoying a break from studying and is spending time in the US, with adventures including mining for diamonds.
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