“My brain, it felt like it was going to explode,” Headache turns into tumor diagnosis for Oklahoma City teen 

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OKLAHOMA CITY - 16-year-old Josiah Hill has an ear for a tune.

It may seem nothing short of a miracle that he is walking, talking and tapping out a melody considering that just last year, he collapsed following a serious headache.

"My brain, it felt like it was going to explode," he said.

Josiah doesn't remember the next few weeks after he was rushed by ambulance to the hospital where he was unresponsive for weeks.

"He had a rare high-grade tumor. It's so rare that we don't have an exact name for it," said Dr. Abhishek Bavle at the Jimmy Everest Center For Cancer.

Dr. Bavle says doctors were stunned to find his brain bleed was really a malignant tumor that ruptured.

His life hung in the balance as his mother, Veonna Butler, waited and talked to Josiah at his bedside.

"Rejoicing in the small victories, you know, he moved his fingers or we saw a toe move or something like that," she said. "When he first opened his eyes, it was just tears of joy. He wasn't speaking for weeks after that, but just to see his eyes. I would do hand signs and he would mimic my hand signs."

"I remember my first words were one, two, three," Josiah remembered.

Surgery removed Josiah's tumor and he's getting chemo to keep the tumor from returning. Recently, he also got a chance to dabble in his passion - rapping at the ACM @ UCO studios.

"I want to do music and sound engineering and I want to have my own studio, and I want to rap in it, too," Josiah said.

Dr. Bavle says Josiah is a fighter.

"He bounced back from things you can't imagine. Very resilient, and Josiah embodies that. He's a fighter and that's why he's recovered so well," said Dr. Bavle.

Josiah and his mother say the staff at Jimmy Everest supported them - when all was dark.

"While the devil was lurking, God was working," said Josiah.

They may not know the future, but they do know caring people have their back.

"I feel like I'm making great progress. I feel I have a great future because I've been through more stuff than anyone else," said Josiah.

If you'd like to help a child with cancer, consider donating to JECFriends.org.

'Kids with Courage' is sponsored by the Jimmy Everest Center. 

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