THE parents of a six-year-old girl suffering from an inoperable brain tumour have criticised the way they were treated by doctors.

Zoe Ireland and Craig Ashcroft, from Etherstone Street, Leigh, claim that it took two and a half months for doctors to diagnose their daughter Kelsie with Pontine Glioma, a malignant growth in the brain stem.

They say the tumour was not spotted until July 20, despite Kelsie being taken to the doctor more than 10 times with head pains and problems with her balance.

Kelsie, granddaughter of rugby league legend Kevin Ashcroft, was brought in three times on the day of her diagnosis, with dad Craig finally demanding to see a manager.

Craig, aged 39, said: “If I had gone home for another three weeks my daughter would not have been here now. She was in a sports day three weeks ago but now she can hardly walk.”

Mum Zoe, aged 28, said: “I thought it was an ear infection because that can affect their balance. I never imagined anything like this.”

After a scan Kelsie was rushed to Manchester Children’s Hospital for emergency treatment. On Monday 23 July the family were told the tumour was inoperable.

Ashton Leigh & Wigan Primary Care Trust released the following statement: “We are sorry to learn about this matter but cannot discuss individual cases through the media.

“We suggest that if any member of the public, patients or their carers have problems with their GP they should contact the GP Practice with their concerns or contact the NHS Patient Advice and Liaison Service at Ashton Leigh and Wigan PCT on 01942 482956 or by email at”

The family say one thing helping them through the ordeal has been the response of the Leigh community. Craig has founded a trust called ‘Caring for Kelsie’ to raise funds to take her to Disneyland, and also donate a sum to Christie’s.

The family say friends, family and well-wishers have been extremely generous with their time and money.

Zoe said: “Everybody’s been so good I don’t know what we would do without them. It has absolutely turned our world upside down.”

Craig added: “It’s unbelievable how everyone’s pulled together like this.”

Events planned include fun days, sponsored hikes and skydiving. A charity rugby match will also take place at Leigh Miners Club, Twist Lane on August 19, involving legends including Alex Murphy, Des Drummond, and Kevin Ashcroft. Anyone interested should call 07847 091988. For a full list of events and to find out more visit and search ‘Kelsie Ashcroft Events page’.