Cooper Davis decided to shave his head for Shelbey Beeton, who was diagnosed with a chiari malformation with a syrinx two weeks ago. Picture: Laura Pettigrew
Cooper Davis decided to shave his head for Shelbey Beeton, who was diagnosed with a chiari malformation with a syrinx two weeks ago. Picture: Laura Pettigrew

Boy’s sacrifice to support teen during ‘surreal’ diagnosis

A Coast teenager whose severe migraines led to a devastating diagnosis has been overwhelmed with support from a 14-year-old family friend who was determined to do everything he could to help.

Shelbey Beeton was diagnosed with a chiari malformation with a syrinx two weeks ago and quickly decided to undergo brain surgery on September 8 to avoid her fear of living life from a wheelchair.

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After having a GoFundMe page set up to assist with the hefty medical bill a family friend, Cooper Davis decided to help the fundraising efforts by shaving his head.

"Shelbey is a really good friend of mine and as soon as I heard she had to go through this and get brain surgery I understood that it's so hard for a girl to go through, so just to support her means a lot to me," he said.

"I've done this for support and to hopefully raise some money, but I care more for the support and shaving it for her."

 

Cooper Davis and Shelbey Beeton pictured after the fundraising event. Picture: Laura Pettigrew
Cooper Davis and Shelbey Beeton pictured after the fundraising event. Picture: Laura Pettigrew

While Cooper was nervous to lose his luscious locks on August 29, he was happy he could do something to support Shelbey.

"It feels different, a bit breezy, but I'm so glad I could do this to support her," he said.

A Chiari malformation causes a part of the brain to bulge through the normal opening in the skull where it joins the spinal canal and puts pressure on parts of the brain and spinal cord.

Without brain surgery, the pressure caused by the fluid build-up on Shelbey's spine could "destroy" her nerves and remove the functionality of her arms and legs.

The 18-year-old nursing student, whose dream is to save lives as an accident and emergency doctor, said the support of her family and community helped her come to terms with the shock diagnosis.

"It was a lot at first, but my family are amazing, they are the best and Cooper and everyone that's here, all the support is really nice," she said.

"It's so overwhelming, but so beautiful at the same time it's so crazy people I don't even know are here to support us."

 

Jessica, Chloe, Shelbey, Tanya and Billy Beeton at the fundraising event. Picture: Laura Pettigrew
Jessica, Chloe, Shelbey, Tanya and Billy Beeton at the fundraising event. Picture: Laura Pettigrew

The Coast resident experienced her first splitting headache about a year ago, but it wasn't until she was rushed to hospital with her second that the reason behind her pain was identified.

The Caloundra Aquatic Lifestyle Centre employee previously told the Daily her diagnosis was a whirlwind.

"The diagnosis has been so quick that I've just had to adapt to everything," she said.

"It's like I don't have time to take it all in just yet, because I'm still trying to figure out how life's going to be like after.

"It's such a surreal idea. I just didn't ever think that would ever happen."

 

Shelbey Beeton shaving Cooper Davis's head on August 29. Picture: Laura Pettigrew
Shelbey Beeton shaving Cooper Davis's head on August 29. Picture: Laura Pettigrew

Brothers Rugby Union club president Michael Haines said he was proud of Cooper's decision.

"What Cooper has chosen to do is the Brother's Way of how we like all of our players, members and supporters to engage in the community," he said.

Brothers Sunshine Coast was circulating buckets on the day to collect donations from patrons while the club donated $5 from the sale of every Brothers B cap to the final total.

To donate to Shelbey, click here.


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