A BLAENAU Gwent family are fundraising for a Welsh children’s hospital – while their toddler battles a brain tumour.

Two-year-old Charlie Thomas from Ebbw Vale was diagnosed with the tumour after mum Annalise Styles noticed something was wrong.

“It was in June or July, and I noticed his right eye had moved outwards,” said Ms Styles.

“I took him to the GP who referred him to the hospital, and it was an 18-month waiting list. The left eye started to turn outwards, and I thought that wasn’t right and took him back to the doctors who said they had made the referral and to try and contact the opticians.

South Wales Argus: Charlie in hospitalCharlie in hospital

“Because of what he was going through, Charlie wouldn’t let the opticians touch him. I called the eye clinic itself and they said it was good that both were turning outward as he wasn’t favouring one eye.

“Charlie was saying he couldn’t see, and I noticed his balance was off.”

The doctors made a second referral, but Charlie started suffering from sickness and diarrhoea for two weeks.

“I was at the doctors almost every day because I knew something was wrong. The doctor asked me how he was doing with his sight, and I said not good because he was saying he couldn’t see and was getting headaches,” said Ms Styles.

The doctor thought he needed a scan, so Charlie was sent to Nevill Hall Hospital where the medical staff were concerned about pressure on his brain and sent the toddler to the Grange University Hospital.

South Wales Argus: Charlie in hospitalCharlie in hospital

He had a scan, and they found a tumour in the centre of his brain but it is not yet known whether it is benign or not. “We were then blue lighted to Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital in Cardiff," said Ms Styles.

“They told us they were unable to remove it because of the location and they took a biopsy and we were sent home.

“Two weeks ago we went back for another biopsy but it came back saying there wasn’t enough information to make a diagnosis. He had to have another operation to sort out the pressure and we’re still in hospital as he has an infection.

“He has to have another biopsy which is being taken from a different angle to hopefully be able to get a diagnosis.”


While he has been in hospital, fundraising events have been organised by Charlie’s dad Chris Thomas and his work colleagues in the Grange University Hospital’s emergency department and by some family and friends.

South Wales Argus: Charlie with dad Chris, mum Annalise and sister MaicieCharlie with dad Chris, mum Annalise and sister Maicie

Mr Thomas has organised a walk for Saturday, November 13 which 50 people are taking part in. The walk – from Lady Charlotte’s Café in Merthyr Tydfil to Pontsticill Reservoir and back – will raise money for Noah’s Ark.

Mr Thomas said: “So many people wanted to raise money for my boy, and I wanted to keep occupied with all this going on by doing something and to raise the money for Noah’s Ark for what they do for children and their families.

South Wales Argus: Charlie with dad Chris in hospitalCharlie with dad Chris in hospital

“When I organised it, I didn’t expect us to be in the hospital, but we are still going ahead with it. I chose to end the walk at the reservoir as its one of Charlie’s favourite places.”

He also wanted to thank his colleagues and Noah’s Ark for all their help. “I want to say thank you to the staff at the Grange for the work they have done with Charlie and all the fundraising they have done.

“And also a thank you to Noah’s Ark Hospital for everything they have done so far.”

You can view and donate to the family’s Noah’s Ark page here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/christopher-thomas43?utm_source=whatsapp&utm_medium=fundraising&utm_content=christopher-thomas43&utm_campaign=pfp-whatsapp&utm_term=3e5f0b60d81742159c49095d5911e7bb&fbclid=IwAR1sopRbkld8NaPwAEyObQ8oqYCYqFUDpzFLrdnFSgAqRZ4U2BodrBWK4KI

There is also a link to the fundraising page set up by the Grange staff to help with the family’s financial situation while both of Charlie’s parents are off work to care for him and sister Maicie https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sarha-davies?utm_term=BNKQV24Jr&fbclid=IwAR3bZ9kdJwAJ6nUD4aOPgK--EBprQRdXro8ck63EPJMgTx4BhQpdiiP91K8