GCSE Results: Hornchurch teenager’s amazing GCSE success despite brain tumour
PUBLISHED: 17:00 23 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:07 23 August 2018
A Hornchurch teenager diagnosed with a brain tumour that sparked terrifying hallucinations still managed to pass his GCSEs.
Max Attack, 17, has spent more than three years living with the effects of a brain tumour after doctors said it was too dangerous to remove.
Despite living with the hallucinations, Max achieved grade 7s in photography and graphics and he also passed digital media. He now plans to study architecture at Havering Sixth Form College.
The qualifications are on top of those he achieved last year including maths and English at Gaynes School, despite struggling with visual problems caused by a brain tumour diagnosed when he was 12-years-old.
Mum Annaliese, 42, said: “He would see the walls closing on him, and cars that weren’t there.
“He used to do things like jump up to catch a TV that he saw falling off the wall.
“As soon as it got dark in the evenings he would only see psychedelic colours, so that often he wouldn’t be able to sleep until 4am.”
Remarkably, Max’s symptoms came to an abrupt end on December 28, 2017 after a trip to the O2 centre in London.
Annaliese, an engineering technician at Havering Sixth Form College, said: “We had been to walk over the roof of the O2 as Max’s Christmas present.
“On the way back, even though it was dark, he suddenly said that he could see everything clearly. He could see the difference between every tree and house.
“Before that, he could only make out vague forms - he couldn’t see any detail once the daylight went.”
Max’s medical team at University College Hospital in London believe the blood supply to the tumour has somehow been reduced or cut off and they will continue to monitor the tumour at regular intervals.
“I’m really happy that life is back to normal and I can see properly again,” said Max.
“Last year, when I took the first of my GCSEs, I kept blacking out and mum would have to take me to hospital even though I just wanted to get on with it and take the exams.
“With these new GCSEs, I hope I’ll be able to pick up the course in the second year, instead of having to start at the beginning.”
Sarah Lindsell, chief executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, added: “All of us at the charity are so pleased for Max.
“He and his family have been through so much and we are immensely grateful to them for sharing their story to help raise awareness of brain tumours.
“We wish him the very best with his course and whatever he chooses to do in the future.”