UK teen diagnosed with eating disorder actually had tumours in brain

A Welsh teenager diagnosed with an eating disorder after eating far less and losing dramatic amounts of weight actually had brain tumours.

Chris Mullins seemed like a normal 13-year-old in early 2018 - until his parents noticed he was drinking large amounts of water and had no appetite.

His eating and energy levels decreased to the point he fell asleep in class and had to leave school due to severe dizziness and fatigue.

He was assigned a psychologist and dietician and referred to a clinic for eating disorders.

"It was the most awful thing I'd experienced. He was so weak I was spoon-feeding him mashed potato in gravy. He was sucking fruit in through his teeth," his mother Samantha told WalesOnline.

Yet his parents refused to accept Chris suffered from an eating disorder, the teen eventually being sent for a CT scan which revealed cancerous tumours in his brain.

An immediate operation revealed one of the tumours was connected to his pituitary gland, causing his lack of appetite and weight loss.

Chris underwent chemotherapy and proton beam therapy and is recovering well and has his hunger back.

Samantha says the misdiagnosis could have led to Chris' death and urges other parents to "trust your instincts" and "insist on scans and second opinions".

"My only hope in raising awareness of Chris' story is that I can encourage other parents not to be intimidated by a health professionals' status when your most precious loved ones are suffering," she told WalesOnline.

"Professionals must listen to patients. You know your child better than anyone else. Stand by what you know and fight for them as mistakes can and, as our case shows, do happen."