June 26, 2017, was the worst day of Gary and Carly Allen’s lives. It was the day their child, 2 1/2-year-old Lennox Allen, was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor.
Before the nightmare began, the couple were living an idyllic life. Gary Allen, D.O., a family medicine resident at UF Health Shands Hospital, was working hard to serve patients while taking care of a growing family. Carly was a stay-at-home mom for their two little boys, Austin and Lennox, with another one on the way.
It didn’t come as a surprise to the young family when Lennox began experiencing morning vomiting episodes. Their oldest, Austin, had also vomited frequently when he was young. However, Carly noticed that there seemed to be a pattern with Lennox. He would get fussy, grab the back of his head and then suddenly vomit.
Concerned about her son, Carly took him in for a pediatric check-up. Tests showed no signs of gastrointestinal problems, yet Lennox’s symptoms persisted.
On June 24, 2017, Gary came home from work and noticed that Lennox was walking unsteadily. Having studied signs of brain abnormalities in medical school, Gary knew that Lennox’s symptoms — including vomiting, headaches and an unsteady gait — were common signs that something was very wrong neurologically.
After sharing his concern with Carly, Gary took Lennox to the UF Health Shands Pediatric Emergency Room. Within an hour, while Lennox watched his favorite TV show, Paw Patrol, the emergency physician called Gary out into the hallway and gently broke the news. Lennox had been diagnosed with a large posterior fossa brain tumor. The physician told Gary that neurosurgery would be inevitable in the coming days.
Read the rest of the story here.