Hessle Lads

Fundraising for Leeds Cares

Fundraising for Leeds Hospitals Charity
raised of £5,000 target
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We support Leeds Teaching Hospitals staff to deliver the best care for our patients


UPDATE: Due to the coronavirus we have had all of this year's public events cancelled. However we fully intend to complete these next year.  

Baby Roux

At Hull Royal Children's Ward on the 1st October 2019, a beautiful baby boy named Roux was born in to the Owen family, joining Mum & Dad; Amy & Anton and 2 year old Noah. 

At the time they noticed there was some swelling on Roux's left eye, but they were reassured that this was a result of the birth and that it would subside in time. A week passed and the swelling was becoming more prominent, so they took Roux back in for a check up and were given some anti-biotics to try and combat it - but it continued to get worse, and now Roux was quickly losing weight as he rejected feed. 

On Saturday 2nd November 2019, one month from Roux's birth, Mum & Dad took him to Hull Royal Accident & Emergency because Roux hadn't fed all day they were worried he would become dehydrated. The doctor instantly recognised that Roux did not look healthy and asked if his head had grown and if the swelling around his eye had increased since birth; both had. They immediately rushed him to get CT scanned. 

The doctor told Mum & Dad that they had could see a 'shadow' on his brain and that they couldn't treat him at Hull Royal, and that Roux would need to go in an ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary, where they have specialists. Amy & Anton didn't know what was really going on and were told that they can't travel with Roux in the ambulance as two doctors and lots of machinery were needed. 

On arrival in Leeds

When they arrived in Leeds Mum & Dad were pulled into a small room and told that Roux had a huge brain tumour, and that the swelling was a result of a cyst that was gradually filling with fluid and putting his life at imminent risk. The doctors already had to insert a needle Roux's skull to drain the fluid, and they had to this without Mum & Dad's permission - due to the urgency of the situation. 

The doctors said they planned to go into surgery immediately but couldn't guarantee the outcome, and there was a high risk Roux might not make it. If Mum & Dad hadn't of took Roux to Hull Royal when they did, they would have lost him. 

Roux's first of many operations lasted 8 hours, and ran from 8pm-4am. Surgeons drained the remainder of the fluid build-up, and took a biopsy from the tumour to access how active it was. They had never seen a tumour of this severity in such a young child. The tumour was the size of two oranges and was extremely aggressive. At this point Roux was placed on intensive care.  

On the following Wednesday 6th November there was another 8 hour operation and the surgeons managed to remove 30% of the tumour. 1 week later there was a 3rd operation, and got a further 50%! 

At this point Roux was given a break from surgery and the Owens were allowed to home for a couple of days - 2 weeks after first taking Roux to Hull Royal. 

When they returned to Leeds a further scan revealed the tumour had grown and the fluid had started to build back up. Another 8 hour operation was needed to drain the fluid and remove more of the tumour. It's at this stage the surgeons realised that the tumour originated in the orbit of Roux' left eye, and that he's had it pretty much from inception. 

After the 4th surgery, Roux took a turn for the worst and began to leak brain fluid because of the amount of times his head wound had to be continuously opened and closed for each surgery. They had no option but to get him in surgery for another operation the next day. During this surgery they fitted an external drain that releases the trapped fluid, and also removed a blood clot they had found. At this point the surgeons told Mum & Dad that they can't operate any further as Roux had started to experience seizures and was understandably struggling to cope with all the operations. The strain was too much. 

Rare Condition

The case was so rare that the doctors reached out to other specialists in the field across the globe, but nobody had experienced a case such as Roux's. The Owen's at this stage were given 2 options. Either put Roux through chemotherapy with little evidence to suggest it would work, or, begin to start end-of-life care. They decided that Roux had fought so much and so hard and that he hadn't given up, so they weren't going to give up on him and try chemo. 

Doctors removed the external drain and Roux spent the next two weeks recovering and trying to build up strength. The Owens were allowed to take him back to Hull for a couple of days but were called back to Leeds as the fluid continued to build up. Another surgery was needed or they would lose him. They operated and fitted Roux with a permanent internal drain that would release the brain fluid through urinating. Afterwards he spent much more time recovering and the Owens were allowed home for Christmas - they had spent almost 2 months in Leeds Children's Hospital. 

In early January they conducted an MRI scan to check progress and were amazed to see how much Roux had progressed. The shunt was working perfectly which was allowing Roux to concentrate on getting stronger. The doctors decided that he was ready for his 7th operation - and it's on this operation they removed the tumour completely, over 50 hours of surgery later. 

Despite the success of the surgery, Roux then contracted pneumonia, but was quickly put on anti-biotics and recovered from this. He then spent time building his strength back up to go home. The next steps are for Roux to have a scan in 3 months (approx mid April) to see if any tumour is regrowing. 

Roux has been through more than most people who have lived a full life, and he's still less than 4 months old. It's unclear what long term effects the complications and trauma will have caused him and we won't know until he starts progressing through life. One thing is for sure - Roux is an absolute warrior and an inspiration. 

*Updates will be provided once we know more!*  

UPDATE 23.4.20 - Unfortunately the results of Roux's latest MRI scan have shown that the tumour is growing back. Since the last surgery to remove the tumour, it has grown 0.5cm. This is devastating news but a a small positive is that it isn't growing as aggressively as before. The Owens now have to wait until the next scan to see how quickly it's growing before considering approaches to remove. 

UPDATE 25.8.20 - Roux goes in for his 8th round of brain surgery. 

Leeds Cares

Providing family with their support was Leeds Cares, a charity that supports NHS staff to deliver the best possible care for patients and their families by raising money for equipment, services, education and research. They were with the Owen family from the moment they arrived in Leeds and helped them with accommodation on site at the hospital whilst Roux was on intensive care. 

To ensure that families going through similar terrible experiences have the dedicated support and help that the Owen family received we kindly ask you to donate as much as you possibly can.

The Owen's would also like to thank the Sick Children's Trust who supported them with accommodation at Eckersley House, opposite the Children's hospital. 

Who are we? What are we doing? 

We are a group of lads from Hessle who are lucky to have Anton as a best mate, and we want to try and do as many events as possible in 2020/21 to raise as much money a possible for Leeds Cares. 

Unfortunately the Coronavirus curtailed our intended plan. However, back in April when it looked like all events would be cancelled this year, we kicked off a 'Lockdown Challenge'. As a collective we set out to run and cycle the full length of Great Britain (1400km) in 14 days. We absolutely smashed this and was humbled to see lots of other people and groups start their own spin-off fundraising for Leeds Cares.

Next year, we still intend to complete all of the original events we had planned in. Below is the list of events we will be participating in: 

  • Lockdown 14 day Challenge! (27th April to 10th May) 1400km COMPLETE
  • New York 5th Annual Brooklyn-Queens Half (TBC) 21km
  • Leeds ToughRunner Trail  (TBC) 10km Run
  • Humber Bridge Sportif (TBC) Various 
  • Yorkshire 3 Peaks (TBC)
  • Hull Half Marathon (TBC) 21km
  • Hull 10km (TBC) 10km
  • Great North Run (TBC) 21km Run 
  • Cycling Sportive (TBC) 100km Cycle
  • Holcombe Mountain Trail Duathlon (TBC) - 7.5km Run + 27km Cycle + 7.5km
  • Clumber Duathlon (TBC) 10km Run + 40km Cycle + 5km Run 
  • Get Caked! (TBC) 8.5km Obstacle Course  

A message from Roux's parents:

On the 1st October 2019 our family was made complete when our beautiful baby Roux was born. From then on Roux has gone through unimaginable pain and suffering that no person never mind baby should have to endure. Luckily, the care of both Hull A&E and Leeds General Hospital has been amazing and we owe a great depth of gratitude to all of the staff who have helped get Roux to the point of recovery. Yes, it’s not over yet but we can now see light at the end of this dark tunnel.

To say thank you, we hope to raise as much money as possible for Leeds Cares and to raise as much awareness as possible.

We are very lucky to have such wonderful friends who want to do this with us. We would much appreciate any donations to this page in order to give back to the people who have on numerous occasions saved our boy's life.

Thank you 

About the charity

Our NHS staff already do an incredible job caring for patients and your support can help them do even more. By donating to Leeds Hospitals Charity, you can fund the things that make a real difference to patients and their families, and help make our hospitals even better.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £4,407.89 Gift Aid
Online donations
Offline donations

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