During an Easter family camping holiday in April 2015, Lachie complained of an ongoing mild headache. A precautionary scan upon his return showed that he had a large brain tumour in his right temporal lobe. Within 4 days he was undergoing life saving brain surgery and the worst of the worst was confirmed, a malignant Grade 4 brain tumour. The Muldoon family’s lives were turned upside down.
Since his first surgery Lachie underwent focal radiation combined with chemotherapy. Unfortunately, a follow-up scan showed the cancer had spread and a new tumour had developed in a different part of Lachie’s brain. Lachie underwent another brain surgery (the second in 3 months) to remove this tumor.
Following his second surgery, Lachie commenced full brain and spinal radiation. After feeling unwell with horrible headaches, another MRI only 4 weeks after surgery confirmed the worst – extensive spread of the tumour throughout his brain. Tanja and Brendan, Lachie’s parents were told to take Lachie home and make him comfortable.
As is the case for many, unfortunately the standard treatment for brain cancer did not work for Lachie.
There was extensive international involvement, lead by Prof Richard Cohn at Sydney Childrens Hospital, including genetic sequencing in Germany and pathology and treatment consultation from USA. Personalised medicine analysis on Lachies tumour showed some promising treatment options, but unfortunately today this takes time and the tumour had spread too extensively, too fast to be able to get the benefit of treatment from these research findings.
Lachie was a fighter and remained positive and hopeful until the end. Lachie passed away on Tuesday 13th October, 2015, 6 short months after diagnosis, in the care of his family and the wonderful team at Bear Cottage.
Lachie was amazing, courageous and brave throughout. He endured more than any child ever should and did not complain once.