Brave Maisie dives for sick children

PUBLISHED: 16:36 12 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:07 24 May 2010

Maisie is pictured after her swim, being given a congratulatory cuddle by Children South West's mascot, Babe.

Maisie is pictured after her swim, being given a congratulatory cuddle by Children South West's mascot, Babe.

AN EXTRAORDINARY little girl with a brain tumour, who has endured more suffering than most people experience in a lifetime, has taken part in a sponsored swim to help life-limited children. In 2004, Maisie Neath, of King's Road, started having headaches

AN EXTRAORDINARY little girl with a brain tumour, who has endured more suffering than most people experience in a lifetime, has taken part in a sponsored swim to help life-limited children. In 2004, Maisie Neath, of King's Road, started having headaches which were initially diagnosed as childhood migraine.But then an optician noticed that the St Nicholas Chantry Primary School pupil was blind in her right eye.Within a week, the 10-year-old underwent two exploratory operations and was diagnosed with a brain tumour.The swelling was so large, surgeons decided against removing it for fear of impairing Maisie's remaining vision, so she had radiotherapy instead.For six months, her health deteriorated.At times, Maisie could hardly walk or speak, her hair fell out, her eyesight deteriorated, she was in agony and ended up in a wheelchair.In addition, she put on 2st and stopped growing.Maisie is still on steroids, has a hormone injection every day to help her grow and attends six-monthly check-ups.But the 10-year-old, who swims with Clevedon Amateur Swimming Club, was determined to take part in this year's Babethon to help children with life-limited illnesses.Steve Neath, Maisie's dad, said: "Maisie went through six months of hell. "She was in so much pain, but she never, ever complained. She only ever apologised for causing us hassle."Fortunately her tumour was benign and her prognosis is good."Maisie was in hospital with a little boy who died from a cancerous brain tumour."Because of what she's been through, she understands more than most children what it is to be really poorly."She's got such a generous heart and was determined to take part in this year's Babethon, with four of her friends, to raise money for Children's Hospice South West."

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