'His health has worsened a lot': Plea from mother of boy with rare tumour

'His health has worsened a lot': Plea from mother of boy with rare tumour

17-year-old Nikita Medalovich was last year diagnosed with a very rare tumour called Juvenile Angiofibroma (JNA) which has turned his life upside down.

A Cork-based mother has thanked people for supporting her fundraising efforts in aid of her son who has a rare brain tumour.

Irina Antonyuk’s 17-year-old son Nikita Medalovich was last year diagnosed with a very rare tumour, juvenile angiofibroma (JNA), which has turned his life upside down.

JNA is a rare, benign tumour with a highly vascular structure and locally aggressive character, which mainly occurs in male adolescents, representing 0.05% to 0.5% of all head and neck tumours.

It can lead to hearing loss, blindness, facial deformities, and, in some cases, brain damage.

Ms Antonyuk set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to allow her to seek alternative medical options for her son who is still waiting to be seen in Ireland.

She was told that her son’s surgery would go ahead in January this year, but operations were cancelled due to Covid-19, and she has heard nothing since then.

“Over this waiting period, Nikita’s health has worsened a lot,” she said. “He lost a lot of weight and cannot sleep normally because of constant pressure in his nose that he describes feeling like a stone wanting to come out.

“The tumour also puts pressure on his eyes, causing double vision, and his ears, which are constantly blocked and ringing. Nikita has not smelled anything through his nose since April last year.”

She said that there are hospitals in Germany that have experienced surgeons who have performed JNA surgeries that can help Nikita, with the cost of surgery and other medical expenses amounting to €50k.

“We will need to stay there for eight days as Nikita will need to do an embolisation of the tumour prior to the surgery and possibly hormonal therapy,” she said.

“After the surgery, we will need to do a lot of rehabilitation procedures and scans, but it can be done in Ireland.

“We need to have this surgery so urgently because the tumour has become much more aggressive than before, and each day is such a great battle, and we don’t know how much longer we can wait.”

She said each donation is “priceless and so precious”, as she is now on the road to getting her son the life-changing surgery he needs.

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