A boy hailed a “Christmas miracle” after surviving surgery to remove an orange-sized tumour from his brain has received a national award for courage.
It was feared Ceylian Bonnet Bocher, three, from Leicestershire, would not survive a 10-hour operation on Christmas Eve 2016.
However, on Christmas Day he was able to sit up and open his presents.
His mother said she had him baptised ahead of the operation as the doctors were doubtful he would pull through.
Marina Bonnet Bocher, who nominated her son for the Cancer Research UK award, said: “I’ll never forget [the medical staff] bringing him out of surgery into intensive care.
“They were smiling and so proud. They called Ceylian their ‘Christmas miracle’.”
Mrs Bonnet Bocher said she noticed her son was not walking properly in November last year and thought he needed new shoes.
His walking became worse and after a visit to a GP, Ceylian was referred for an MRI scan.
“By then he couldn’t even sit up in bed without falling down,” she said.
“The surgeon told us he’d found the biggest tumour he’d ever seen in a child that age and didn’t know if it was even possible to operate.
“We were so scared we got a priest to come and baptise him before the operation at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.”
Ceylian was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a rare type of bone and soft tissue cancer.
He was able to return home to Ashby de la Zouch in January, before undergoing cycles of chemotherapy which he finished in September.
He had also visited the US, in May, to have proton beam therapy.
Mrs Bonnet Bocher said: “He was so brave throughout his treatment and now our energetic boy is back, smiling from morning to evening, cycling and playing football.”
The three-year-old was awarded the Cancer Research UK Kids and Teens Star award for bravery.