Teen makes a show of thanks

Rhys Alexander with  Stephen Pierre, Courtney Page Swift and Jamie Fairbanks.
Rhys Alexander with Stephen Pierre, Courtney Page Swift and Jamie Fairbanks.
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A TEEN who had part of his skull removed to ease a rare neurological condition took to the stage to raise cash for a hospital.

Rhys Alexander underwent a five-hour operation at Alder Hey Hospital just 10 weeks ago, after being diagnosed with the rare condition.

Rhys Alexander

Rhys Alexander

Now making a recovery he is putting his energy into fund-raising for the hospital which offered him relief after months of pain.

Rhys, 16, said: “I started with headaches, dizziness and nausea in June, but was misdiagnosed with migraines then cysts. I had to have a lot of time off school because of it.

“Then after two MRI scans they found I had a brain malformation.”

The source of Rhys’s pain was found to be Arnold Chiari Malformation, which causes the brain to displace into the opening at the base of the skull, and affects just 0.1 per cent of the population.

Rhys added: “It was like my brain was falling out.”

A five-hour operation in August, to remove part of the Millfield High School student’s skull eased the pressure on his brain, preventing future headaches, muscle weakness and possible paralysis.

He is now back in school for two hours a day to work towards his GCSEs.

The teenager is also spending more time volunteering at Crazee Critters animal rescue charity on Faraday Way, Bispham.

After the operation Rhys, of Rochester Avenue, Cleveleys, decided to use his love of singing to raise money for the children’s hospital.

He said: “I feel like I need to pay back the staff there. They’re trying to get facilities for teenagers so fund-raising will help other teenagers. I’m paying it forward.”

Rhys joined Blackpool entertainers KSK, Stephen Pierre and Tony Just on stage at Nellie Deans Bar to raise more than £200 for the hospital on Monday night.

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