By Tristan Stewart-Robertson

A family who became known around the world for their miracle triplets have spoken about the devastating discovery that one of them has a brain tumour.

Caleb Stirrat, aged just three, has had a large mass removed from his head and began six months of chemotherapy on Monday.

Born at 27 weeks along with sisters Poppy and Alyssia, Caleb was already an IVF miracle to parents Karen and Andy, of Parkhall.

Now they’re hoping their prayers will be answered again as the public rally around to show their support, reports our sister title The Clydebank Post.

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Caleb had headaches at the end of February and a CT scan discovered the large mass. Specialists operated the same day.

As Caleb began chemo for the “very aggressive” cancer, his sister Poppy went into theatre to have her tonsils and adenoids removed.

Yesterday, Caleb went into theatre for a central line and a lumbar puncture.
Mum Karen, 33, told the Post: “It’s been hell – we wouldn’t wish this on anyone. 

“Caleb knows he is unwell and having to go to hospital for special medicine. 

“The other kids know he is unwell and having to go back in to hospital. They know he has a sore head and they have to be careful of him. 

“All the children are picking up on the atmosphere and know something’s wrong despite us trying to remain positive and protect them.”

Bankies and friends have already helped raise more than £2,800 since a JustGiving appeal was launched in support of the family.

Karen said the love from their family was helping them through the ordeal. 

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“The kids are upset and don’t understand why their brother is in hospital and not well,” she said.

“It’s hard trying to carry on as normal when you have two other children at home and managing money and bills when it’s last thing on your mind.

“We are staying positive and are so unbelievably grateful to everyone who has donated, shared or left well wishes for our Caleb. 

“It really has been an overwhelming support, and reading all the messages has been very emotional but inspiring.”

Karen and taxi driver husband Andy, 41, couple had spent four years trying to conceive before Andy was found to have a rare condition preventing him from having children.

At their wedding, Karen asked guests to help fund an attempt at IVF treatment, which was successful after a trip to a Cyprus fertility clinic.

Alyssia, Caleb and Polly were born in January 2016, weighing just 2.2lbs, 2.8lbs and 2.3lbs respectively.

Karen then got involved in the charity Bliss, supporting other parents of premature babies, and is now drawing strength back from those same families in her hours of need.

Registered nurse Claire Smith, Karen’s aunt, who set up the fundraising page, told the Post: “The doctors said the mass was very vascular and the headaches were from it bleeding. It’s so aggressive. If he hadn’t started getting symptoms, it would have been too late.

“I’m a registered nurse and still feel so helpless. It doesn’t feel real.

“We’re all completely blown away by how quickly the appeal has grown. The support and well wishes have been overwhelming.”