A 14 year-old boy who was left paralysed after suffering from a brain tumour has baffled doctors by making an unexpected recovery and getting his BLACK BELT in Tae Kwon Do.
Brave Daniel Kimmins underwent emergency surgery just days before his seventh birthday when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
After the operation the youngster was left paralysed down the left hand side of his body – which doctors warned could be permanent.
But now Daniel has fought against the odds to make a full recovery and gain his black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
Daniel, from Bath, took up the martial art when he was six years old and within a year he had earned his yellow belt.
But the youngster was forced to give up his favourite hobby after a brain tumour left him fighting for his life.
Now Daniel has bounced back, despite doctors warning his parents that he wouldn’t pull through, and is now proudly wearing a black belt to his Tae Kwon Do lessons.
His mum, Heidi, 47, from Bath, said: “After his operation Daniel couldn’t move the left side of his body and he had lost the ability to speak – which is something the doctors warned may happen.
“We were never given any hope. We were always of the impression that he wouldn’t recover from the tumour.
“No one thought he’d make it - he was so poorly not even the doctors thought he would pull through. But slowly but surely he got back to himself.
“Now he has learnt to walk and talk all over again and he is able to do all of the things he did before he had the tumour, which makes me unbelievably proud of him.”
Heidi, an accountant, took her son to his GP after he complained of persistent headaches, where they were referred to the Royal United Hospital in Bath.
But before their referral came through Daniel, who goes to Ralph Allen School, in Bath, was taken to A&E after he was seriously ill in the night.
Nurses told Heidi it was nothing more than a virus but the mother put her foot down and insisted on seeing a specialist.
Two days later Daniel was undergoing surgery at Frenchay Hospital, in Bristol, to have a large brain tumour removed.
Heidi said: “They wanted to send him home but I knew something was wrong and luckily there was a consultant around who was able to have a look at him.
“He said that Daniel needed a MRI scan which showed that he had a large tumour on the brain.
“Two days later he had an operation which lasted seven and a half hours to remove it. The staff were absolutely amazing.”
After his operation the youngster underwent 13 months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, causing his weight to plummet.
Daniel was in a wheel chair for more that two years and he had to learn to crawl, walk and talk all over again.
The student returned to his beloved hobby two years after his diagnosis and has since earned his green, blue, red and now his black belt.
When he returned to the martial art Daniel was a lot weaker than he was before his illness and his class mates and teacher would hold his hands to help support him.
His mother said: “I was so pleased when he said he wanted to go back to Tae Kwon Do.
“I think it was a really good form of physiotherapy for him and it really helped him build up his strength and get back on his feet.
“He now now takes part in adult classes twice a week – even though he’s only tiny. I’m so proud of him.”
Though Daniel appears to have made a miracle recovery he still struggles with his balance and stamina and often has to work twice as hard everyone else.
Daniel Kimmins said: “I started judo to get a hobby really because all of my other friends had hobbies and I didn’t, but I discovered I really enjoyed it.
“When I was poorly I had to give it up. I went back two years after I was diagnosed and just gave it my best shot.
“When I went back everything was a bit different, mainly because there were new people in the class and I found it a lot harder to do things than I had before.
“I got my black belt a few weeks ago now, it was absolutely amazing. I went with three of my friends and one of their mums and they all got theirs too.”