Mum of ‘cheeky’ Hornchurch nine-year-old thankful for fundraisers one year on after life-changing operation

PUBLISHED: 10:00 15 August 2018

Nathan Box enjoys being home after treatment in Texas for Hypothalamic Hamartoma

Nathan Box enjoys being home after treatment in Texas for Hypothalamic Hamartoma


The mum of a nine-year-old boy who had a £100,000 life-changing operation says he is a “completely different child”, one year on.

Nathan Box enjoys being home after treatment in Texas for Hypothalamic HamartomaNathan Box enjoys being home after treatment in Texas for Hypothalamic Hamartoma

Nathan Box and his family, of Standen Avenue, Hornchurch, travelled all the way to Texas 12 months ago for tests and an operation to cure his rare brain tumour, hypothalamic hamartoma.

To his family’s delight, the operation went without a hitch.

Mum Susan said: “He’s been doing so well, it’s like he’s a completely different child.

“He’s still the cheeky, spider-loving, number-loving child but now he loves sport as well.

“And when he scrapes his knee, he’s like ‘oh that was from hockey, that was from playing tennis’ and I’m happy that he can now actually run around and do that.

“It’s amazing how much of a difference a year has made.”

Nathan was struck down with the illness three years ago when his parents noticed something was wrong while on holiday.

Doctors initially believed Nathan had epilepsy, but after numerous tests over the course of several months, the family were told the Hacton Primary pupil instead had the rare tumour.

The family were told the NHS would not fund the treatment, which is only available in Texas, so they had to fund the operation themselves.

Donations from friends, family and people in the community as well as fundraisers such as cake sales organised by Nathan’s school all contributed to the end total of £103,312.

A Smile! concert held at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford, which included performances from West End stars in shows such as Wicked and Mamma Mia, as well as the local and national publicity that Nathan’s story received, led to the family raising £100,000 in 10 days.

Nathan is spending the week at Great Ormond Street Hospital for telemetry, post-surgery tests, following the operation last year to check his brain activity but he continues to make good progress.

Susan said: “It sounds strange but we didn’t want to let the general public down as well because of all the work they did to help us raise all of the money.

“Without everyone’s help, we wouldn’t be where we are today and Nathan wouldn’t be able to run about and have as much as fun as he is so we’re very thankful.”

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