'Miracle girl' Milli, 12, is 'doing well' after treatment in Germany

A miracle girl who was given just weeks to live earlier this year is already back at school after receiving pioneering brain surgery from Dr Charlie Teo. 

Amelia 'Milli' Lucas was told in May that she would die from a brain tumour, before Dr Teo took on her case and wiped out 98 per cent of the growth on her brain stem.

Dr Charlie Teo's Foundation shared an update on the 12-year-old, who suffers from the extremely rare Li-Fraumeni syndrome, saying that her story is one of 'hope and incredible bravery'. 

'Milli Lucas has battled with terminal brain cancer for the last three years. Only a few months ago she wasn't responding to treatments and only had weeks to live but Milli and her family were not ready to give up,' they wrote about the girl from Perth.

Wearing a 'Wish for Milli' scarf the family made, Dr Teo successfully removed 98 per cent of her malignant tumour in June, despite it being attached to her brain stem.

He then referred her for 'alternative treatments' in Germany to stave off the remaining cancer.  

'Milli has recently returned [from Germany], is doing well and now back at school with her 15-year-old sister Tess,' they said.  

She has also started back at her local music school, with singing one of her favourite pastimes before she was diagnosed with cancer.

The teenager's father Grant Lucas, 49, shared his heartwarming vote of thanks to Dr Teo on Facebook, saying if they had listened to critics about his work he might have lost his daughter.

'Thank you Charlie Teo, if we had of listened to doctors in Western Australia it may not of been possible to have my three beautiful kids on Father's Day,' he said on Sunday. 

After landing in Bochum, Germany, in last June Milli went through four weeks of treatment involving daily doses of chemotherapy and hypothermia, which sees doctors raise the temperature of the tumour.

After landing back in Perth in July the family are now waiting for a further brain scan to tell them whether the tumour has shrunk any further. 

Only then will they know if Milli has a chance of a full recovery. 

Milli made headlines in May this year after her parents Grant and Monika Smirk, 47, were forced to crowdfund over $160,000 to afford the operation with Dr Teo at a private hospital in Sydney.

Chemotherapy, radiation and immunotherapy were no longer working on her tumour and doctors in Perth refused to operate out of fear the invasive procedure could lead to paralysis or even death.  

After hearing about her story, Dr Teo - who is known for tacking terminal brain cancer cases - said he would perform the 'difficult' procedure.

But the risky surgery carried out by the Sydney-based neurosurgeon was a tremendous success and saw her walking three days later.   

Dr Teo said Milli's operation involved navigating the brain stem - 'the no-go zone' - where most doctors won't touch.

But with chemotherapy and radiation no longer working, there was no other choice.  

'They [the family] know the risks, they know it's not curative and could reduce her quality of life, but they just aren't ready to give up. It's a brave decision,' Dr Teo said in June.

Tragically, Milli's mother Monika, 47, learned her breast cancer had returned days after her daughter's successful surgery.

The 47-year-old lives with the same rare gene disposition as Milli and is one of less than 1,000 people in the world with the illness.

The mother-of-three went through a double mastectomy and hysterectomy three years ago to try and prevent it from returning.

'I can see it, it's not grown so it can wait, but it'll have to come off eventually,' Ms Smirk said of the lump to the West Australian.

In addition to Milli's debilitating condition, her sister Tess was also diagnosed with a brain tumour but has since been given the all-clear.

The  page that saw their family's journey catapult into the spotlight is still open and has seen 2,700 people donate $170,000 in three months.

stella Posted on September 03, 2019 11:05

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