AN INSPIRATIONAL Hampshire teenager whose life has been turned upside-down following a brain tumour diagnosis is raising money for Southampton hospital where she was treated.

Katlyn Smith’s ordeal began after Christmas when her vision in her left eye became blurred.

The 13-year-old visited an optician who referred her to an eye specialist at a Southampton General Hospital.

Katlyn’s vision became worse, before she lost it in her left eye completely.

She was advised to go to hospital immediately where she was given various tests, before an MRI scan revealed the tumour.

She was admitted to hospital where she waited for an operation to remove the tumour, which happened three days later on April 16.

“I had a three-hour operation to remove the tumour,” Katlyn explained, adding: “They said the operation went well, but unfortunately they didn’t get it all so I’m on medication to hopefully shrink the rest and hopefully it doesn’t grow again.”

The tumour, which is benign, has affected Katlyn’s pituitary gland, which is an important link between the nervous and endocrine systems, releasing hormones which affect growth, sexual development and reproduction.

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As a result, Katlyn from Andover, has been told she will need to take medication for the rest of her life, and was given the devastating news that she may never be able to have children.

The Harrow Way Community School pupil said: “I was shocked that it was something so major. I was scared. Obviously not being able to have kids and maybe not having periods that’s something that I will miss out on, because every other girl in my year will be starting their period and I won’t have that. I’ll feel left out.”

But rather than feel sorry for herself, Katlyn has decided to do something positive and is raising money for the G2 ward at the Southampton hospital, where she stayed for two weeks.

She said: “I just want to give something back to them and say a big thank you. They do so much for everyone and are so kind and friendly.”

The money she raises will replace chairs on the ward which visitors sit on, because she said they are all ripped.

Katlyn’s mum, Samantha Lewis, said the diagnosis has changed her daughter’s life, explaining: “They did the operation through her nose, so they didn’t have to cut her head open, but they didn’t get it all so she’s on medication to shrink it and keep an eye on it. It’s changed her life completely because she’s on medication for the rest of her life. She has to take steroids four times a day and is on other medication.”

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If Katlyn becomes ill, particularly if she has a temperature, she will need to be admitted to hospital immediately for monitoring.

Samantha, 32, who has three other children, said the fundraising is giving her daughter something positive to focus on during her recovery, adding: “She’s not back at school full time yet, she’s going to try after the holidays, so she’s taking it step-by-step and she’s building her strength back up.

“She’s had a major operation, but the fundraising is all her doing. I’m so proud of her.”

Along with her justgiving page, Katlyn and her family have plans to do further fundraising with car boot sales, raffles and a non-school uniform day.

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