BERRYTON, KS. (KSNT) — Doctors have been unable to properly diagnose a local Kansan middle schooler’s tumor.
Landan Ellsworth is an eighth grader at Shawnee Heights Middle School. Last March, Landan’s routine eye doctor appointment became a multi-hour stay.
To their surprise, Landan’s optometrist informed them that Landan’s optic nerve seemed “thickened.” An MRI scan showed a tumor growing on his left optic nerve.
27 News met with Landan and his mom, Kathyleen Wilson, and they explained the series of events Landan’s gone through in the last year.
“They were doing more tests than usual, and they told me that there could be calcium crystals where his left optic nerve could be,” Wilson said. “Which usually forms on both optic nerves, but like I said, it was only on my left eye.”
Landan began experiencing symptoms, and a second MRI in October showed the tumor had grown. In December, Landan underwent a non-invasive biopsy in Memphis. However, due to the tumor’s location, doctors could not obtain tissue without risking permanently damaging his vision.
Even with all that precaution, Landan still suffers side effects from the procedure.
“Other than, like my mom [says], blurry vision,” Ellsworth said. “Sometimes when I look to my right, left, or up, I get double-vision, but other than that, it’s perfectly normal.”
Doctors concluded it could be meningioma, common for women between 60 and 80. So now doctors are trying to figure out if it’s cancerous. To do so, they either need to open his skull for a biopsy or treat him with radiation without confirming it’s cancer.
“There’s a possibility that there might be a doctor out there that can perform a biopsy through his nose like an ENT doctor,” Wilson said. “Or even an image-guided biopsy. So, it’s overwhelming for me to try to find that doctor. I don’t know where to start. I work full-time, so I can try to call hospitals. I am just a mom. [For] most doctors, you need a referral, and you have to wait. So it’s just overwhelming, and meanwhile, this thing is just growing.”
Landan and his parents are looking for other options.
“It feels like it would be a nice growing experience if I get through this,” Ellsworth said. “And really, overall just shows my parents are great people.”
Landan and his parents are having trouble finding referrals to specialists.