‘Fit and healthy’ girl, 9, can now only communicate through her eyes


‘Fit and healthy’ girl, 9, can now only communicate through her eyes after suddenly collapsing at home due to undiagnosed terminal brain tumour

  • Abigail Johnston became seriously ill at her house in Norris Green, Liverpool 
  • Doctors told family their daughter had an aggressive and terminal brain tumour
  • Her parents Shaun Johnston and Becky Doherty described her as fit and healthy 

A ‘healthy and fit’ nine-year-old girl can now only communicate through her eyes after suddenly collapsing at home. 

Abigail Johnston became seriously ill at her house in Norris Green, Liverpool, on September 20 and was rushed to hospital.

Her parents Shaun Johnston and Becky Doherty described her as a ‘generally fit and well child’ before the shocking incident. 

Doctors told the family their daughter had suffered a bleed on the brain and further tests revealed she had a very aggressive and terminal tumour. 

Abigail Johnston can now only communicate through her eyes after suddenly collapsing at home. She is pictured with her parents Shaun Johnston and Becky Doherty and her sister Jasmin

Her father Shaun, 44, told The Liverpool Echo: ‘This has been devastating to us all.

‘Abbi was generally fit and well and enjoyed the summer, our holidays in August and had returned to school.

‘We weren’t aware of any issues and there were no signs of anything wrong. It was totally unexpected.

‘She just felt unwell that morning but was OK and shortly before it happened she gave me a cheesy smile from the couch, watching tv with her sister Jasmin.’

After her initial visit to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool doctors said she may only have hours to live but Abigail is still continuing to fight.   

Abigail has a form of locked in syndrome, meaning she is fully aware of her surroundings but is unable to talk or move – yet her parents have said that her personality is still there. 

Abigail (middle) became seriously ill at her house in Norris Green, Liverpool, on September 20 and was rushed to hospital

Abigail (middle) became seriously ill at her house in Norris Green, Liverpool, on September 20 and was rushed to hospital

The nine-year-old requires 24-hour care and communicates by moving her right eye up for yes and down for no. 

Shaun explained to the publication how the tumour was ‘virtually undetectable’ but aggressive.  

Because the condition is so advanced it is untreatable however after two weeks in intensive care, she is still fighting seven weeks later.  

The family say that they are treating every day as it comes and are cherishing the time that they have together.   

The nine-year-old requires 24-hour care and communicates by moving her right eye up for yes and down for no. Pictured before the incident

The nine-year-old requires 24-hour care and communicates by moving her right eye up for yes and down for no. Pictured before the incident

Father-of-two Shaun said the family were looking at the possibility of hiring a wheelchair accessible vehicle to give them the opportunity to go out with Abigail when they can do this again.

She needs 24 hour care and is currently a full-time patient at Alder Hey, but the family are hopeful they can bring her home to spend Christmas with them. 

A crowdfunding page has been set up to help Shaun and Becky make the most of the time they have left with Abigail.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk