Little Charlie saves his mum’s life
12 October 2012
Mum-of-four Elaine Trott has her youngest son, Charlie, to thank for alerting her to breast cancer.
While they were having a cuddle, he threw his head back
forcefully, striking her painfully in the breast area. A few days
later, Elaine found a lump in that breast while she was
She immediately booked to see her GP, who thought it was a
bruise from the bump with Charlie, but nevertheless referred her to
Southend University Hospital's breast unit.
Elaine said: "My mum died of a brain tumour when I was 21 and I
have always been hot on checking myself. The lump was the size of a
cherry tomato and uneven like a cauliflower."
At the breast unit, Elaine was examined by breast consultant
Miss Emma Gray. She too thought at first it was a bruise, but then
detected something deeper.
Elaine had a mammogram and biopsy that same day and the results
confirmed her worst fears.
"My whole world collapsed. I had scans the following week to
check it had not spread and went in for a mastectomy on 22
She was allowed out to spend Christmas Day with her husband,
Chris and children Hollie, now 11, Jack, nine, Alfie, seven and
little Charlie, who she says saved her life.
Since then, Elaine has had chemotherapy, radiotherapy and
Herceptin and earlier this year underwent a breast
She said: "The breast unit at Southend is absolutely fantastic.
They have so much time for you. At the beginning I was completely
distraught but staff from the receptionist to the nurses and
consultants were absolutely fantastic.
"I could phone up my breast care nurse at any time or just go
along and have a chat if I was worried - they were always
As a result of her treatment, Elaine was a willing volunteer on
an international clinical trial to test a new drug neratinib.
Although it is a randomised trial and she does not know if she
is receiving the drug or a placebo, she said: "I have had such
fantastic treatment, I wanted to help other women in the future.
And going on the trial means I have more check-ups and blood tests
at the hospital which for me is a good thing.
"Whereas hospitals were always scary places for me, when I go to
Southend now I find it really comforting."