When four-year-old Olivia Szabo fell ill, her mother instinctively knew her daughter was suffering from more than childhood illnesses.

But the family never expected to receive the diagnosis they did.

Now Olivia is facing 18 months of chemotherapy at just four-year-old after being diagnosed with a brain tumour .

She spent Christmas and New Years Eve in hospital.

Olivia's mum Marietta Kulcsar, who lives in Bromley Cross, initially thought her daughter had a cold or that she may have had a concussion following a fall at school, and doctors said she was “fine”.

But  Olivia could not shake the symptoms, and she became more poorly with bouts of vomiting, a loss in appetite, suffered from balance problems, problems with her hearing, and experienced numerous headaches.

And her mother says she knew her daughter was suffering from more than childhood illnesses and continued to press for medical help.

Olivia went to the Royal Bolton Hospital on December 22, 2023, after which she was  transferred to Manchester Children’s Hospital (MCH), where she stayed for three weeks.

The Bolton News: Olivia Szabo in hospitalOlivia Szabo in hospital (Image: Public)

After having a CT and MRI scan, they confirmed that Olivia had a brain tumour.

Although the tumour is benign and an operation has removed 95 per cent of the tumour, Olivia will need to have chemotherapy due to doctors being unable to operate and remove the rest of it.

Marietta said: “It got to the point when it had been two months and we kept asking what was wrong and thought she might have had a concussion, and I was worried.

“When we were at Bolton Hospital, they wanted to do a CT scan and MRI scan, which would take 45 minutes, and they wanted to do it as quick as possible and for her to be relaxed, but how could she be in there for so long when she is only four?

“She was not able to eat anything because they couldn’t do the MRI or CT scan otherwise.”

The Bolton News: Olivia with her family at Christmas holding her teddyOlivia with her family at Christmas holding her teddy (Image: Public)But Olivia was unable to relax and was "scared" when she saw the machine, and so she was given some medication to fall asleep, but Marietta says that she was “fighting” the medication because she knew what was coming, and was unable to relax.

She was then treated at MCH where she was given anaesthetic so that she could fall asleep so they could complete the scans.

Marietta said: “Doctors will try their best to help her now, but they don’t know if it will spread or grow.

“There is always a risk of it spreading or becoming cancerous, which is why she needs chemotherapy.

“They won’t be able to get rid of all of the low-grade tumour, and she will have to live with it for the rest of her life.

“We never expected anything like this, and I don’t even remember anything in the hospital because I think I was in shock for a few days after that.

“She was upset and crying in the hospital and wanted to go home.

The Bolton News: Olivia Szabo in hospitalOlivia Szabo in hospital (Image: Public)“She didn’t understand why we needed to stay at the hospital even if we tried to say she needs medication to feel better.”

Marietta says that it is “really hard for her” because she misses her friends and teachers and enjoys going to school, and she is always “worried” about having an MRI or what’s going to happen.

Marietta added: “I just take it day by day.

“It’s really hard to know she’s not as healthy as the other kids, and we don’t know what’s going to happen, and the chemotherapy is a really long time, and I can’t do anything about it.”

The family have to be extra careful if they see any friends or relatives to stop passing on any viruses which could make  Olivia ill and make it even more challenging during chemotherapy.

If Olivia has a high temperature she will also have to go to hospital, and the family are not able to give her any pain medication.

Olivia has also had to undergo physiotherapy to help her walk and has had a port fitted, which is a thin tube in her chest so that she can have chemotherapy.

The Bolton News: Olivia Szabo in hospital with her port fittedOlivia Szabo in hospital with her port fitted (Image: Public)The youngster will have to attend regular check-ups every three months, and then every six months, and then longer after this, until she is 16 to make sure the tumour is not growing.

After Marietta’s sister Alexandra Ngassa set up a GoFundMe the family raised £16,900 in just over five days.

Marietta said: “It’s really important for us.

“This will really help Olivia get the help and support she needs.

The Bolton News: Olivia with her mum MariettaOlivia with her mum Marietta (Image: Public)“I just want to make sure everybody is aware about the importance of taking your kids to the doctors and the symptoms to look out for because doctors said that Olivia had the perfect symptoms of a tumour.”

Olivia only returned home last Sunday (January 14) and will start chemotherapy and physio in the same day next Thursday (January 25), where she will stay overnight.

Marietta has praised MCH for all the help and support they have given the family.

Click here (www.gofundme.com/f/please-donate-for-olivia) to help support the family.

If you have a story and something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at jasmine.jackson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on Twitter @JournoJasmine.