“Jasmin has a growth in her left leg.” My daughter’s face drained of colour and I thought she was going to collapse as she held her 10-year-old daughter’s hand tightly. The doctor’s words ricocheted inside my brain, echoing over and over again. With a calmness in her voice that belied the way she looked, Beverley asked the doctor what they could do to help Jasmin.
The doctor explained they would have to operate as soon as possible and they would take a biopsy as soon as they started to operate, then wait for the result, before deciding what to do next, as they needed to know if it was benign or malignant. Once they had their answer, Beverley would be consulted regarding further options.
As a grandparent, those options were too horrendous to consider. The next week passed in a blur and I watched my daughter go through the private hell of a mother who is helpless, unable to help or protect her child. It was during one of their little talks with Jasmin’s elder sister, Jacquelyne that Jasmin decided, to call her growth, Lily Lump.
An amazing thing happened! Suddenly, everyone asked how Lily Lump was and Jasmin joked about it to her friends. The doctors called it Lily Lump and said what a great idea it was, so even on hospital records Lily Lump is famous.
Four years earlier, Beverley’s husband had died from a sudden heart attack. Then two years later her father passed away. Between them the girls had suffered the loss of father and grandfather. They had found a strength and a bond that was to see them through the Lily Lump ordeal.
The day arrived and Jasmin was wheeled into the operating theatre. Only then did Beverley let the tears flow. The minutes seemed like hours. The waiting almost beyond endurance, before the surgeon walked into the room. His words forever, etched into my mind: “Everything went well, Beverley! Lily Lump was benign and I am very sure we removed it all! Jasmin will be fine.”
When my granddaughter woken from the anaesthetic, her first words were, “Has Lily Lump gone?”
Friends visited and signed her leg plaster. Jasmin was so brave, she never complained and soon it was time to come home. There would be months of physiotherapy to come of course, but a really big surprise was waiting for her.
As Jasmin settled in the lounge there was a knock at the door. Her face was a picture when television and radio host, the voiceover narrator of Big Brother, Mike Goldman entered the room. At the time he was her favourite television celebrity; she’d never missed a show. He spent some time talking with Jasmin and heard all about the story of Lily Lump. He signed Jasmin’s leg cast and provided her with many laughs. I’m sure it helped with her recovery.
The leg has healed well and physiotherapy got her walking again. This story of how a very brave little girl dealt with her Lily Lump is a good example for us all!