Sim Scott is one tough kid — and it’s not just because he has a first degree black belt in karate.
At age six, Sim was diagnosed with a grade II astrocytoma brain tumor, and underwent two brain surgeries within two months. Surgery removed more than 90 percent of the tumor, and cut off blood supply to the remaining tumor, in effect killing it.
Sim went into a 24-hour coma immediately after the surgery. And upon waking up, he struggled with basic tasks, like walking and swallowing. But he resiliently pushed back. Sim started martial arts training to improve his balance, strength and stamina, and he was quickly able to return to school.
“He rebounded surprisingly fast,” said his mother, Vicki Jessup-Scott. “He started school on time. It wasn't even three weeks later.”
Sim knew that he would stand out with the large scar on his head from surgery. So, he decided to give a speech to his second grade class explaining that he had a brain tumor removed.
“I just wanted to let them know that everything was OK. I had an operation and wasn’t going to go to recess for a while. Everything was OK, and they could ask questions,” Sim said.
It worked — the other kids didn’t even have any questions.
Today, 14-year-old Sim is considered to be in remission, but he will require annual MRIs for the rest of his life. However, kicking down a brain tumor was just the beginning of Sim’s remarkable story.
His mother said it was during follow-up visits at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas that Sim noticed other children with struggles even greater than his own, and he was determined to help.
“He sees these kids coming in with surgical masks who don’t have hair who look very frail. That struck a chord with him. He realizes that could have been him,” his mother said. “He wanted some way to give back.”
Sim quickly found a way through many charitable causes. He’s spoken at numerous fundraising events for Children’s HealthSM, donated his hair for children undergoing chemotherapy and brought toys for our patients. In 2012, Sim was selected to represent Texas through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion program.
Though he has a full schedule that includes participating in his school’s gifted and talented program, martial arts classes and choir practice, Sim continues to share his story and make a difference for children in the hospital today.
“After being in the hospital myself, it made me want to help other kids who have to be there,” Sim said. “It was very personal to me after two major surgeries because I knew what other kids were going through.”
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