Swaffham dad gets daughter's brain surgery scar tattoo

  • Video report by ITV Anglia's Raveena Ghattaura


A father from Norfolk has had a brain surgery scar tattooed on his head so his four year old daughter does not feel like the "odd one out".

Esme Lambert was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour called ependymoma near the spinal cord two years ago, after her parents noticed she was being sick.

Her parents Wendy and Aaron were told she needed surgery to survive and after a successful eight-hour operation to remove the tumour, Esme was left with a large scar on the back of her neck.

A Norfolk dad gets daughter's brain surgery scar tattoo Credit: Cancer Research UK/PA Wire

Esme's father Aaron Lambert decided to get a a tattoo to match Esme's scar to help take the attention off of hers.

The tattoo took nearly three hours to complete, but Aaron said it was worth it as a lasting reminder of their journey together.

The family from Swaffham have been supported by Cancer Research UK and are backing the charity's campaign for more life-saving research.

"One in two people get cancer in their lifetime, but charities like Cancer Research UK mean that there is research and there is stuff that can be done", Wendy said.

In the East of England, around 36,800 people are diagnosed with cancer every year.

“We are grateful to Aaron, Wendy and their family for their support", Patrick Keely, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Norfolk, said.

"Cancer Research UK is the only UK charity fighting more than 200 types of cancer. COVID-19 has hit us hard, but we are more focussed than ever on our ambition of seeing 3 in 4 people survive their cancer by 2034.

“As a result of the pandemic, cancer is as urgent an issue now as it’s ever been. With so many people affected, we’re all in this together, so I hope that people across the region will play their part. Every action – big or small – helps Cancer Research UK to ensure more people survive.”

Esme completed 19 months of chemotherapy Credit: Family photo

There's still a 60 per cent chance Esme's cancer could come back, but she's growing stronger each day.

Her parents are looking forward to the future and hope that sharing Esme's story will raise more awareness around brain tumours.

"It has been so nice. She has been going back to nursery, she has gone back to gymnastics today, she is back in her dance classes, she is just doing stuff, she doesn't live any differently to any other 4 year old", Wendy and Aaron Lambert, Esme's parents said.

"You just live each day as it is. You have to have a bit of hope I think just to carry on."