Family calls for backup in teen's cancer fight

BY HIS SIDE: Lachlan and his mother Tanya spend most of their days at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane while Lachlan recovers.
BY HIS SIDE: Lachlan and his mother Tanya spend most of their days at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane while Lachlan recovers. Contributed

WORDS can't describe the way mother of five Tanya Coghlan felt the day she was told her 14-year-old boy was about four hours away from death.

On January 6 her son Lachlan woke up with a severe migraine, causing him to scream with pain.

Tanya would soon learn that the situation was more serious than she could have imagined.

When Lachlan went to walk outside and collapsed right before her eyes, it confirmed something was seriously wrong.

He was taken to Warwick Hospital and then immediately flown to Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane.

The helicopter didn't have room for Tanya who nervously waited in Warwick.

Forty-five minutes later she received a call from the hospital to ask if they could perform emergency brain surgery on her son.

Lachlan had a cancerous tumour the size of a tennis ball on his brain and it had erupted when he collapsed.

Tanya was told her son would have been dead within a matter of hours, but with surgery he could have at least another two years.

"He was having emergency surgery and I couldn't be there, I wasn't there to hold him," Tanya said.

"It was terrifying; it was like the life had been ripped out of me.

"He was running around, riding motorbikes and was swimming in our pool just the day before."

At the time, Tanya was looking after her newborn baby girl, Chilli-Lee who was born two weeks beforehand.

She said she already had her hands full.

After the doctors removed Lachlan's tumour he was left with ataxia, which meant he had lost all control of his bodily movements.

Lachlan's doctors and his family are working with him to rewire his brain and help him walk and talk normally again.

The doctors can't predict Lachlan's life expectancy but they call him "the unbeatable kid." Lachlan has two more blocks of chemotherapy before he begins his intense rehab, but should be home by December.

Tanya is a single mother of five and said the costs of Lachlan's medication and rehabilitation needs have caused her to struggle financially.

"I'm worried about money. I'm doing this on my own," Tanya said.

"I don't have a savings account. I don't have any backup."

Topics:  cancer editors picks warwick

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