A three-year-old diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour has died on the Gold Coast after being given just months to live.
Dustin Vaughan’s family said he “took his last breath” on October 30, three months after doctors had to explain the unthinkable to his parents.
“[He] will forever be in our hearts,” aunt Kasey Vaughan said in an online post. “Until we see you in eternity with our Lord Jesus, we will miss you.”
The toddler’s family said they received the “worst possible news any parents could ever imagine” in July after doctors discovered a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma — an extremely rare tumour — on his brain stem and spinal column.
“Due to the location of the tumour, surgery or chemotherapy were sadly not options offered to the family,” Ms Vaughan said.
Parents David and Sarah were told their son would have three to six months to live.
Doctors used steroids to reduce swelling and symptoms but ultimately could not save the boy.
Ms Vaughan launched a GoFundMe page to help the family out through the distressing time, saying she wanted Dustin to feel “the gift of constant love and comfort” in his final months, and to let the family take time off work to spend time with their son.
“We are hoping to raise enough to give them time to hug and love him and make his end of life journey as full of comfort and love as we possibly can,” she wrote.
She posted an update weeks later, thanking the public for their support through the “dark time”.
“We wish to thank everyone for their support during this dark time,” she said. “You have given an amazing gift to Dustin’s parents and allowed them that precious time with their son.”
Over $10,000 had been donated up until Dustin’s death.