Toni is determined to walk tall

Toni Malloy with mum Elizabeth
Toni Malloy with mum Elizabeth

A Bellshill teenager who was left unable to walk and talk after surgery on a brain tumour is taking part in a sponsored walk.

In 2012 Toni Malloy (17) began complaining of headaches and it was only after a visit to an optician that it was recommended she seek treatment.

After being seen at Hairmyres Hospital she was rushed to the Sothern General in Glasgow for emergency surgery.

The procedure to remove the brain tumour went well and although Toni spent a week in intensive care things seemed to be okay.

However, after being fitted with a ‘shunt’ to remove fluid from around her brain Toni suffered blood poisoning which left her unable to walk or talk, skills she would have to relearn.

Despite her age Toni was moved to ward 7A at Yorkhill to start her rehabilitation, as it was felt this would be a better environment than being amongst adults.

Twenty months on and Toni can now talk again and walk with the aid of crutches.

The former Cardinal Newman High pupil said: “I really don’t remember much about the operation, everything from that time is really hazy.

“I am making progress, it is a little slow and there is still a long way to go, but it is progress and I wanted to give something back to sister-in-charge Lesley Wilson and her staff at Ward 7A for what they have done for me.”

Toni and mum Elizabeth will walk around the loch at Strathclyde Park on Saturday.

Elizabeth said: “Toni still uses a wheelchair and crutches to get around, so it might take us forever, but we will get there in the end.

“It was her idea to do it and if we can raise £500 for the ward to do with as it wishes then we would be very pleased with that.”

Toni is not totally out the woods yet as a piece of the tumour had to be left behind and there have been some setbacks.

Elizabeth explained: “The surgeon removed as much of the brain tumour as he could, but because it was so close to the centre of her brain part of it had to be left.

“There is always the chance that it could grow back, but Toni receives check-ups and it hasn’t changed in nearly two years, so the doctors are hopeful if nothing has happened yet then hopefully never will.

“We did have a bit of a setback the last time Toni had her shunt checked, it was new person we hadn’t seen before and instead of x-raying the shunt to check the programme he just reprogrammed it.

“Unfortunately, for whatever reason this meant it was no longer drawing fluid off Toni‘s brain which made her quite ill, but thankfully it was sorted and while it didn’t need to happen we realise it was just an accident.”