Cancer in the head – dog “Buddy” and the family support Dominik


Ten-year-old Dominik had to have a malignant tumor the size of an apricot removed from his brain during emergency surgery. The subsequent treatments weakened him enormously, he weighs only 29 kilograms and can no longer go to school. He now urgently needs physical, occupational and psychotherapy.

The first symptoms that something was wrong with Dominik were initially unremarkable. The ten-year-old from the Vöcklabruck district (Upper Austria) showed slight insecurities while cycling in the summer of 2022, lifted his feet less while walking and a glass fell from his hand while brushing his teeth. But then he spontaneously became nauseous several times – without warning he vomited.

Sent away to hospital
When this did not stop, the parents took their son to the hospital. “It was explained to us that it was probably a gastrointestinal infection. They sent us home,” says father Felix (39). Four weeks later it became clear that Dominik did not have any infection: “We took him to the hospital again, where they wanted to send us home. But this time we insisted that he be hospitalized and thoroughly monitored.”

Acute danger to life
Dominik probably owes his life to the perseverance of his parents. During immediate follow-up examinations, it was discovered that a tumor already the size of an apricot was growing in the boy’s cerebellum. There was an acute danger to life! The little patient had to be transferred to the Linz University Hospital, where the tumor could be removed with emergency surgery.

Unfortunately, the parents’ high hopes that it was benign did not come true. The pathological diagnosis was devastating: medulloblastoma (malignant brain tumor).

Proton therapy in Germany
Radiotherapy was inevitable. Because proton therapy for children was not yet offered in Austria at the time (it is gentler), Dominik and his family had to move to Essen, Germany, for six weeks in the autumn of 2022.

Unfortunately, Mama Katharina (40) suddenly suffered a serious neurological incident a week before the start of the treatment, which left her dependent on a wheelchair and walker. “It was a very intense and extremely demanding time for everyone,” Felix emphasizes.

To the limits of what is bearable
After radiation this year, Dominik started chemotherapy in January: eight blocks of six weeks each – a very painful, physically and mentally transgressive treatment for the boy.

“He lost ten kilos, could no longer eat and had to be fed through a stomach tube,” his father explains. Because Dominik’s senses of taste and smell turned into the opposite. What had tasted good before caused disgust, what had smelled good suddenly smelled.

Uncertain future prospects
Physically he is extremely weak, currently weighing only 29 kilos and in urgent need of physical, occupational and psychotherapy. His family and dog “Buddy”, a four-year-old German Pintscher, are his greatest source of support.

The ten-year-old really wants to go back to school with his friends, who are already eagerly waiting for him. But unfortunately that is not possible at the moment, the future prospects are uncertain: “Unfortunately we don’t know where the journey is going, but we are fighting with all our might day in, day out to ensure that the weather gets better!”

Source: Krone


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