THE prompt action of NHS staff helped save the life of the teenage son of a nurse at Taunton's Musgrove Park Hospital.

Claire Sowerby's son, Braden, 15, was rushed into the operating theatre after an MRI scan at Musgrove revealed he had a brain tumour.

The tumour was successfully removed and doctors say it is unlikely to return.

Mrs Sowerby, a junior sister in cardiology, said she had met scores of patients needing an MRI scan over the years but her first-hand experience has reinforced how important scanners are.

She said there were no concerns when Braden first started getting headaches and was being treated for migraines.

"He trains regularly doing boxing fitness with his dad, my husband Roy," added Mrs Sowerby.

"This particular Sunday my husband noticed that Braden was unable to concentrate or hit the pad properly.

"He came home and told me, and I immediately knew something was wrong. I knew what this could mean.

"We took him to see his GP that following Monday and as soon as we described his change in symptoms I knew the GP was thinking the same as me.

"He referred Braden for an urgent appointment at Musgrove’s children’s unit and we were expecting anywhere up to a two-week wait for an MRI scan.

"The following day we had a call from the hospital asking us to take Braden in.

"They examined him and ordered an MRI scan. They allowed us home that night and we returned the following morning to await his scan.

"I went into the scan room with him – watching him lying there undergoing the scan was truly awful. All our fears were becoming a reality.

"As a nurse, I understand body language and I understand our professional compassion so I could see that the medical team were concerned.

"Although they remained professional, caring, understanding and honest, I knew by gut instinct that something was wrong."

Braden's family were informed that he had a tumour and he underwent an emergency nine-hour operation Mrs Sowerby said: "It was without doubt the worst and longest nine hours of our lives.

"Finally, in early evening the news came that his operation had gone well and his amazing neurological team had managed to remove the tumour completely."

Tests showed the tumour was a grade 1 pilocytic astrocytoma, meaning it is unlikely to grow back, although Braden will have to undergo regular scans for the foreseeable future.

Mrs Sowerby said: “We will be forever grateful and indebted to the amazing hospital teams for their prompt response, diagnosis, care and treatment. Time is so precious.

"Without the ability of our MRI team to fit Braden in within a few hours we can't imagine how it would have felt to have waited any longer.

“For us the MRI scanner is the most important piece of equipment in ensuring our boy remains well and on his journey to full recovery.

“None of us know just how important a new MRI scanner will be to them, their family and friends. Our hospital provides an already fantastic service but needs all our support to make it even better."

Musgrove’s official charity Love Musgrove recently launched a £1 million appeal to buy a third MRI scanner for the hospital.

Mrs Sowerby said she is even more determined to help achieve that goal and is organising a Marathons for Musgrove fundraiser.

To get involved in the appeal click here.