Pray Pray Pray: Life changing surgery to remove Eloise’s tumour on Tuesday 16th March

[Side Note: This Blog contains information regarding some of the risks involved in Eloise’s surgery. We realise that some people may choose not to read some of the below].  

Eloise is due to have surgery at Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool this Tuesday (16th).  It will be a very long operation (all day – anything from 8-12 hours) and is an exceptionally complex and challenging procedure.  We are travelling up to Liverpool first thing tomorrow (it is ~4 hour drive), so that Eloise can be admitted early tomorrow afternoon.

Anna will stay with grandparents in an Air BnB near to the hospital.

Eloise will go down to the operating theatre just after 8am on Tuesday morning.  The anaesthetic will take roughly an hour to kick in and Eloise will then go for a pre-operative MRI. Unlike previous MRI’s (where Eloise was lying on her back) Eloise will be carefully positioned on her front – the position she will be in for the surgery.

The Neurosurgeon will then review the MRI and depending on the tumours location and size will then decide which angle to enter the brain and do the surgery from.

The Neurosurgeon and his team will then start the procedure and start to remove (de-bulk) the tumour. The Neurosurgeon will do his best to remove all of the tumour. Once he thinks he has safely removed as much of the tumour as he feels he can (hopefully all of it) Eloise will then have another (intra-operative) MRI to check to see if there is any residual tumour left in.

If the MRI shows that there is any residual tumour left in then the Neurosurgeon will take Eloise back to the operating theatre and attempt to safely remove the residual.

If you wished this to be explained more visually you may wish to watch this short clip, which shows the same Neurosurgeon who will operate on Eloise, operating on a small boy a few years ago. Please be warned that the footage shows the operation – if you are squeamish).

[Side Note: In 30% of all brain tumour operations where the neurosurgeon thinks they have successfully removed all of the tumour, post-operative MRI’s show that a residual has been left in. We feel exceptionally blessed that Eloise is being treated at Alder Hey, which has a state of the art operating theatre with an MRI machine in the operating suite. We understand that there are only a handful of operating theatres in the UK with these machines.]

After (potentially) repeating this exercise a few times to safely remove as much of the tumour as he can Eloise will have a final MRI scan.

Eloise will then go to the recovery suite with a nurse. Whilst Eloise is in the recovery suite, waiting to come around, the Neurosurgeon will sit down with us to discuss how the operation went and talk us through the final MRI images.  

We will then be taken through to the recovery ward to be with Eloise.

As noted earlier, the operation can take anything up to 12 hours and is an incredibly complex and challenging operation with some very real risks, ranging from short term visual challenges to fatal haemorrhage (but fortunately these very rarely happen).

We would hugely grateful if you could pray for Eloise for this life-changing operation.
Some of our family have very kindly set up a doodle poll to ensure that Eloise is covered in prayer throughout the day. If you wish to add your name for a 30 mins slot then you can add your name here.

Specifically we would be grateful if you could prayer for:   

  • Best Surgical Approach:
    • Please pray for wisdom for the Neurosurgeon and his team when they review the pre-operative MRI scan to determine the best approach for surgery. Please pray that they are all agreed and that there is a clear route, that reduces risks for Eloise and allows the best access the pineal region to remove the tumour.
  • Protection Against Surgical Risks:
    • Eloise’s brain tumour is located in the tectal plate/pineal region of the brain – this is deep within the brain, at the base. The location of the tumour is what makes this an exceptionally risky operation. Eloise’s tumour is currently pushing against two very risky structures which we would be grateful for prayers of protection:

      Brain Stem: Which controls Eloise’s eyes and motor functions.  Damage to this would not be great.

      Posterior Choroidal Arteries: Which are large, very important arteries in the brain, which Eloise’s tumour is pushing against. In the Neurosurgeon’s words “This is the most stressful part of the operation”. Damage to this part of the brain can be life altering.
  • Surgical Success – Complete removal of all the tumour:
    • The aim of the surgery is to remove Eloise’s tumour. All of it.
    • The evidence we have read suggest that removing all of the tumour (Gross Total Resection) is a very important factor in Eloise’s long term survival. Please pray for favour that the Neurosurgeon manages to remove all of the tumour.   Eloise will still need further focal radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy post-surgery, but for the greatest chance the whole tumour needs to be removed.
    • We would also be grateful if you could pray that the Neurosurgeon and his team are able to remove the tumour in as few times as possible.
  • Limited Side Effects:
    • This surgery is on the limits of brain surgery and is a very risky operation. It is very difficult to list all of the potential side effects, some of which are more likely than probable. We would be grateful if you could pray for a covering of protection over Eloise today and into the future. The main (common side effects) will centre around her eye sight (which is very likely), speech and mobility.
  • Strength and Peace for Us and Our Family and Friends:
    • Firstly, thank you for getting this far in this long blog! As you will have picked up – this is a life changing operation and it is extremely distressing that Eloise is in a position that she requires this operation. Please pray for us as we sign off on the operation. Please pray for our wider family as they ‘wait to hear’ from afar. Pray for Anna as she home-schools through the operation and please pray for peace to be over Eloise in the operating theatre.

We firmly believe that prayer changes things and are exceptionally grateful for everyone that continues to think and pray for us. We feel covered in prayer and are so incredibly grateful. Please don’t stop.  

16 thoughts on “Pray Pray Pray: Life changing surgery to remove Eloise’s tumour on Tuesday 16th March

  1. Be assured of on going prayers for all of the family…especially eloise on tuesday
    Be still and know that I am God
    With love


  2. Father of all creation, whose hands placed the stars in the sky, Thankyou that you are in every detail of this. We pray for this tumour even now to shrink. Guide the hands of this amazing surgeon. Comfort and provide for the family as they wait on you Lord. Make a miracle Lord God.


  3. (Please no need to post this) Just wanted to say i’ve picked my 30min, prayer slot and I will also do a short prayer on the hour every hour from 8am-8pm tomorrow. Just wanted to encourage you that we are reading your posts&prayer requests and believing and praying with you, friends and family for a successful operation and recovery for Eloise, and strength and wisdom for you as a family, and God’s wisdom/hands for the surgeons and doctors.


  4. I have sent a few prayers over the last week or two, since I became aware of this blog. I will of course keep you all in my prayers tomorrow. God be with you.



  5. I have followed your journey with Eloise through Shirley and will be praying for her tomorrow. May God guide the surgeons hands during the operation and bring Eloise through safely. May God also protect all the family and give them strength and courage over the forthcoming hours.



  6. You’re all in our thoughts and our prayers tomorrow. Praying that the operation is a resounding success and that the whole tumor is safely removed. Sending so so much love to Eloise and to you guys. Xxxxxxxx


  7. You are in our prayers and thoughts. Nothing is impossible with God! Will continue praying for Eloise successful surgery tomorrow and the peace of God to you all.


  8. Will be fasting and praying tomorrow – during my slot especially, but throughout the day. We are battling for you.


  9. I will be praying throughout the day, and particularly during my prayer slot. Praying life, ABUNDANT LIFE. Binding down all sorts. Loosing all necessary skills, a tumour that will come out completely successfully, surgical team, all of you in the hours of waiting. HEALING AND HEALTH.


  10. We are praying for God to sustain you all with His peace, strength and courage.
    We will be praying for Eloise tomorrow, together with others from our church, that the surgery will be a complete success.


  11. Heavenly father surround this family with your mercy, grace and love. Steady and guide the surgeons during the procedure. In Jesus name, Amen


  12. Family praying and French friends in France praying today….Que le seigneur vous bénisse et vous garde, et qu’il vous apporte la paix. Amen!


  13. Thinking of you now as you face finding out how it has all gone.
    Such a hard thing for you all to bear. God bless you in this trouble.


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