A little boy who faces losing his sight due to an inoperable brain tumour has created artwork for a permanent display at a children’s hospital.
Four-year-old Joseph Hayek, who is partially sighted, has three tumours – one behind his eyes, one at the base of his brain and another at the base of his spine – and risks going blind without treatment.
But the courageous youngster, who loves art and all things creative, doesn’t let this stop him, and has seen his design go on display in the children’s oncology outpatients unit at Manchester Children’s Hospital after winning a creative drawing competition.
Joseph goes for weekly chemotherapy sessions to help shrink the tumours and has to have his temperature checked four times a day to see his blood has not become infected.
His dad Max, 41, said the artwork has made him more relaxed about going to hospital. He said: “It was nice for him to have a trip to the hospital to look forward to where he didn’t need to see a doctor or have any treatment.
“It’s been a rough ride – he talks quite matter-of-factly about it to people but he used to throw up in the car on the way to hospital because he was so scared.”
Joseph’s ‘Cheeky Monkey Spaceship’, which he designed by himself, has pride of place on the ward’s door, to the delight of Max and other patients.
Max said: “We’re so proud of him. He’s over the moon about it and does a little skip every time he sees the picture. It will certainly make going to hospital better for him.”
Joseph, who lives in Langley with dad Max and mum Emma, 40, who is his full time carer, was diagnosed when he was two.
The tumours were discovered after a routine eye test, which was arranged after it was discovered he suffered from Neurofibromatosis Type 1, a lifelong genetic condition which means tumours can grow on nerve endings anywhere on the body.
Max added: “I asked the consultant if we could just stop putting Joseph through this but he said if we did he’d go blind.
“He’s on a cocktail of grotty medicines and has to have brain scans, eyes tests and be hooked up to drips. It’s very stressful as we just don’t know if there’ll be an end point.
“We’re always on edge as we don’t know when he’ll be knocked sideways again.” Joseph will start at Hollinhey Primary School in September