Child of Courage nominee – Summer Walker
Summer Walker had four brain operations in the space of three weeks, including one the day before her twelfth birthday.
She was rushed to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital by ambulance where brain surgeons were waiting to operate as she could have been left with brain damage without immediate surgery.
Summer, who lives in Bucknall with her parents and four sisters, has a condition called Chiari Malformation which means a deformation of her skull affects the pressure of her brain and causes severe headaches and neck pain.
Her mum, Anna, and two of her sisters also have the condition. Anna and one of Sunmer’s sisters have also had brain surgery to help relieve the symptoms.
Anna says she has nominated Summer, now aged 14, as a Child of Courage in the Your Heroes Awards because of the complications she has overcome following her first operation and her determination to return to school and her studies.
“She’s amazing and so brave,” said Anna. “She has taken all this in her stride and she’s a very courageous child.
“She didn’t want time off school and was determined to catch up with her work. When I tell her teachers what she’s been through they’re flabbergasted. I just admire her so much.”
Summer was diagnosed at the age of 11 after suffering headaches that were so severe she couldn’t lie down in bed.
Complications after her first operation left her with a fluid build-up in her brain that could have caused brain damage without emergency surgery.
But Summer’s ordeal still wasn’t over. Anna says she was ‘screaming in agony’ after being discharged from hospital. The first two operations had to be completed again.
Anna added: “Three of our family have had operations now to help us live a better life with no pain. I’m nominating Summer for this award because of what she’s been through and her determination to get back to school.”