Boy Who Threw up at Same Time Every Day Diagnosed With Brain Cancer

A 5-year-old boy who had been throwing up at almost exactly the same time every day has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Shortly before his 4th birthday, Nate Gidman's parents noticed that he was becoming nauseous every morning.

"You could almost set your watch by it," the boy's father, Phil Gidman, told The Mirror newspaper on Wednesday. "At 6 a.m. every morning he'd wake up, vomit and then go about his usual day."

This continued for a few weeks until, one day, the boy's eye began to turn inward. At this point, his parents knew something was seriously wrong.

At first, Nate had been diagnosed with an aggressive viral infection. The medication prescribed did not alleviate his symptoms, however, and his parents urged doctors to assess him again.

"He had a CT scan and a couple of hours later a doctor and three nurses came into where I was with Nate. One of them took him away," Gidman said. "That was the point where they told us they'd found a mass in his head."

"You just feel sorry for yourself. You think, 'Of all the places you can have cancer, why in your brain?' All you can think is that you just don't want your kid to die," he said.

Nausea and vomiting are among the most common symptoms of brain tumors, alongside headaches and changes to vision. However, it is important to remember that brain tumors are rare and many everyday illnesses can also cause nausea and vomiting.

Brain tumors can lead to increased pressure inside the skull, which can result in nausea, vomiting and headaches. Tumors may also affect areas of the brain that help people to balance, producing feelings of dizziness.

The family—who live in Lincoln, a city in England's East Midlands—took Nate to a specialist hospital in nearby Nottingham where surgeons operated to remove 40-50 percent of the tumor.

Eventually, around 95 percent of the tumor on the boy's brain was removed. But he still needed radiotherapy, chemotherapy and stem cell treatment. He also suffered from complications after the surgery, including a buildup of brain fluid, which had to be drained in another procedure.

"We spoke to Nate's nurse, who has been absolutely sensational, later on and she told us she thought he'd been a couple of hours from death at that point," the father said.

Nate was discharged from hospital in late 2020 and has spent much of 2021 receiving various treatments, including chemotherapy.

A day after the family had spoken to the Mirror, they learned that his cancer had spread.

In a statement on Twitter, the boy's father said: "His cancer has rapidly progressed in his brain and spine. He will stay young whilst we get old. This has caught us by surprise as externally he was thriving, unfortunately it was just a mask to what is happening within.

"We cannot prepare ourselves for what the next six months will bring, we hope we can get them all but in doing so I will try to ensure that he will spend the rest of his life happy and excited."

Update 11/26/21, 11:50 a.m. ET: This article was updated to add information about brain tumors.

A sick child in hospital
Stock image of a child in hospital. An English family has revealed how their young son was diagnosed with brain cancer after weeks of vomiting every day at around the same time. iStock