Community rallies around Nederland teen battling brain tumor

Published 8:59 am Friday, June 28, 2024

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NEDERLAND — At first doctors and family thought Coy Farris was battling seasonal allergies causing him to have double vision and some stomach issues.

The once active teen was busy visiting baseball camps and training at 5 a.m. prior to an unexpected diagnosis of a brain tumor.

The 15-year-old student Nederland High School played freshman baseball as well as playing on a select and played freshman football.

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His grades were not problem, taking advanced courses with a weighted grade point average above 4.0.

He made it baseball season with what was thought to be allergies and sinusitis but near the middle of May the health issues came back and the focus turned toward his stomach due to vomiting.

Scans were done and Farris’ stomach was not the issue.

More issues occurred and on May 21 he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

He was transported via life flight to Texas Children’s Hospital where more scans showed the same diagnosis.

His father Blake Farris said Coy was doing good and was fully functional and had plans to go home but return in few weeks for chemotherapy.

Farris’ journey

Not long after returning home Farris started having issues again. Doctors learned the tumor, which is located n his brain stem, was blocking spinal fluid ad causing dizziness and numbness, his father said.

An operation was performed to relieve the pressure in his brain so the spinal fluid would drain correctly. But overnight the tumor began to bleed, the dried blood coagulated and closed the bypass area causing the bleed to go to his brain.

“It mimicked the symptoms of a stroke,” Blake Farris said, adding Coy had al the classic symptoms including face drooping and paralysis.

The tumor is located on the pineal gland and is called a germ cell tumor.


Treatment calls for a round of chemotherapy every 21 days – a total of six treatments. His specific type of tumor puts markers in the blood and his puts out a hormone, Blake Farris said.

At first Farris had around 14,000 marker points. A few days after his first round of chemo the number dropped to around 6,000 markers and last week the number was around 300.

“It’s a sign the tumor is dying,” his father said.

After the chemo treatments the hope is for the tumor to dissipate and filter through his body. In the event there is dead tissue, it will need to be removed.

Farris’ dad and mom Candice have been honest with him, explaining his diagnosis and treatment and the 15-year-old has been pretty positive, his dad said.


Mom Candice has been staying with him at the Houston hospital and is able to work remotely. His dad works in Orange but spends his days off at the hospital.

Blake Farris said it’s hard to gauge his son’s mood at this time due to the effects of the tumor. The blood from the tumor affected parts of his brain and he may blurt out his thoughts even if they may seem inappropriate.

The idea is this part of his illness may dissipate over time.

The teen is talking and his speech is fine, just a little slower. He also has some short-term memory loss, his father said.

The symptoms are similar to what a stroke patient may exhibit, he added.

Recently his paralyzed side started to twitch and he can feel touch on pressure points but can’t move the left side yet.

Farris wants to go home but he must achieve some milestones in order for that to happen.

“I order to go home he has to start doing tings for himself. His ultimate goal is to walk,” he said.

On Monday Farris asked the physical therapist if he could stand up and he did so, with assistance, for about 30 seconds. On Tuesday a special wheelchair was brought in to keep him from slumping over and he was able to sit in the chair for about an hour. The goal is to increase the amount of time the teen is vertical.


The community has come together to help the family. A fish fry was held recently at the American Legion Post No. 493 in Nederland and on July 15 from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Rancho Grande restaurant in Port Arthur will donate a portion of that night’s proceeds to the family if the customer shows the flyer to the server.

Southeast Texas Circle of Hope is holding a benefit from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 10 at United Steelworkers, 1609 Port Neches Ave., Port Neches.

The benefit will have a silent auction, live auction, barbecue lunches, live music, 50/50 Spit the Pot, Wheelbarrow of Fun, gun raffle, blood drive, face painting and games for the kids.

Donations may be made to Neches Federal Credit union, account number 59-432-1. Write in memo; Coy Farris benefit. This is for all locations in Southeast Texas or call 409-722-1124.

Blake Farris said a personal friend of the family started a Facebook page called Coy’s Avengers which provides information on the teen’s progress and more.