Tears as girl, 8, rings bell to end chemo after parents told ‘she might die’

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A girl of eight got to ring a bell to celebrate the end of her gruelling chemotherapy – after medics sent it to her home in the post.

Dara Monahan was diagnosed in May 2019 with low-grade brain stem glioma, a rare type of tumour.

She had a recurring cough and suspected sleep apnoea but loved seeing pals and was gymnastics-mad.

In June 2019 she began chemotherapy, supported by mum Sarah, 39, who gave up work as a paralegal.

Her treatment at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow ended in February 2021.

But lockdown meant there was no chance to mark the milestone in hospital due to Covid restrictions.

Medics sent Dara a bell and a T-shirt so she could celebrate with brothers Riley, 13, and Ciaran, five, in Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire.

Mum Sarah said: “They told us she might die, but you don’t want her or her brothers to be scared. You get on with things.”

Dara loved being in the children’s ward where she knew all the nurses.

Her mum said: “She was always really happy and tolerated her treatment really well, skipping up and down the wards.”

Dara’s tumour has shrunk but she will need to be regularly monitored.

Sarah added: “We had a tea party and balloons and made a big deal.”

Jamie Redfern, director of women and children’s service at the hospital, said: “We’re delighted Dara and her family have been able to ring the bell.

“It’s such an emotional moment and in the hospital it brings tears, smiles and usually hugs.”