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Forfar toddler with rare illness defies odds to survive high-risk surgery

Kinsley with mum Eden ahead of the surgery.
Kinsley with mum Eden ahead of the surgery.

A Forfar toddler with a rare illness has beaten the odds to survive a high-risk operation to prolong her life.

Little Kinsley McMillan faced 11 hours of gruelling surgery to remove most of a brain tumour threatening her life.

It was feared the surgery itself may have killed the 22-month-old but her family decided to go ahead with it to give Kinsley another chance at life.

Without it, doctors said the brave tot may only live for two or three months.

The operation itself won’t save Kinsley’s life but it’s hoped it will buy her time until more treatments for her condition become available.

Kinsley following the 11 hour operation.
Kinsley following the 11 hour operation.

Kinsley was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour in September 2020, when she was just five months old.

She had the operation at the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh on Friday and is recovering in ICU.

Remarkable progress

Her family said Kinsley was “clinging to life” before the operation but only three days later they say it has all gone better so far than they could have hoped for.

Her family were so concerned about how the operation would go they had her baptised in hospital the day before.

Kinsley was baptised in hospital before surgery.
Kinsley was baptised in hospital before surgery.

Kinsley’s gran, Karen Kennedy said: “We are absolutely over the moon with how things have gone so far – things are much better than we could ever have dreamed of at this stage.

“The neurosurgery team worked for 11 hours and managed to remove 80% of the tumour without any complications on the table.

“Kinsley never ceases to surprise us – she has her mobility [and] no signs of any  paralysis so far.

“She’s still very vulnerable but the operation had the best outcome possible.

“She has been in the intensive care unit until now but should be getting out of there very soon because she is improving so well.

“It has been really emotional and stressful for us all.

“Kinsley isn’t just a princess she’s a top fighter – one we are in awe of.”

Rare brain tumour

Kinsley has already had gruelling surgeries and chemotherapy and almost died during surgery last January.

She spent another three months in hospital and the tumour has left Kinsley completely blind.

Kinsley was said to be “clinging to life” before surgery

The family are continuing with plans for a charity fundraising event in Kinsley’s name, which people can donate to online.

Money raised will go to Team Jak Foundation – a Livingston based charity which provides practical, social and emotional support for the families of children with brain tumours.

Last year the family raised £14,000 for Tayside Children with Cancer and Leukaemia (TCCL).

Seriously ill Angus tot surprised by Santa ahead of life-threatening surgery

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