Back home, doctors thought Perryn Miller’s headaches were caused by his glasses.
As KUTV News reports, 2018 was a tough year for the Miller family. They lost their home in North Carolina to Hurricane Florence. What’s more, 8-year-old Perryn spent months suffering from persistent headaches. His father, Jacob, told KUTV:
“Doctors [in North Carolina] said it was his glasses and he would get used to prescription.”
Because Perryn is an active and healthy boy, his parents accepted that explanation — until things suddenly got much worse over the holidays.
Jacob is originally from Utah, and after such a trying year, the Millers decided to go back to Utah to spend Christmas with family. While they were there, it was evident that the higher altitude was affecting Perryn. His headaches became debilitating migraines, and he began vomiting.
Perryn’s parents rushed him to the hospital and were stunned to learn that Perryn needed emergency brain surgery. Jacob told KUTV:
“They let us know he had a brain tumor that needed to be operated on immediately.”
After a successful seven-hour surgery, Perryn was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme, a rare and aggressive brain tumor.
According to the American Brain Tumor Association, glioblastomas are malignant brain tumors. Symptoms include headaches, nausea, balance and memory issues, sensory changes, and seizures. More common among adults, glioblastomas require multiple treatment methods. Most victims only survive one to three years after diagnosis.
There are, however, factors that increase the chance of beating the cancer, and the Millers are optimistic that Perryn will be an exception. The survival rate for children is about 20 percent, and Perryn started treatment immediately. Moreover, the surgeon was able to remove the tumor entirely.
Now, Perryn is staying in Utah to continue chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
“[Perryn’s] got a long journey ahead of him.” Jacob told KUTV. “[…] He’s strong; he will be able to do it.”
Friends have started a GoFundMe campaign to help the Miller family cope with the medical and travel bills. Meanwhile, Jacob is thankful they decided to go back to Utah for Christmas, as it may have saved his son’s life. As he told KUTV:
“If we hadn’t come out here, we wouldn’t have been able to catch it in the amount of time that we did.”