May 22 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
The family of a 13-year-old fighting a rare form of cancer are likely to have just a few more days before finding out if the procedure to save his life has worked.
Wayland Academy student Deryn Blackwell had a bone marrow transplant at the beginning of March at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.
He was diagnosed with leukaemia aged 10, but two years into his treatment he was told he had relapsed, and had also developed Langerhans Cell Sarcoma – one of only six cases in the world.
And almost three weeks after the procedure, Deryn’s family are waiting to see if the if the marrow has taken.
Deryn is thought to be the only person to have both cancers at the same time and his pre-operation treatment has seen him undergo total body radiotherapy and targeted radiotherapy to his throat, which is where the tumours were found.
Since the transplant Deryn has been spending time in total isolation, which could last up to seven months, because of his low immunity.
His Mum, Callie Blackwell, said Deryn was “still pretty poorly” and on morphine to ease the pain. But Mrs Blackwell said he was making progress.
She said: “He hasn’t been able to swallow, not even his own saliva.
“But he had a drink for the first time in four days, and he’s doing really well.”
His dad, Simon, and Callie are now taking it in turns between being at home in Watton with their younger son Dylan, and with Deryn in the south west.
Mrs Blackwell said she had been giving her husband guidance on the washing and sealing of Deryn’s clothes and their own.
Because of Deryn’s low immunity in isolation, his visitors have to make sure they have washed what they are wearing before they visit him.
Even his teddy bears are in plastic bags.
Doctors say it should take three weeks to know if the bone marrow has taken, which means by the end of this week the family may be closer to finding out if his big procedure was a success.
Tweet Deryn at @_DoEveRYthiNg and follow his mother’s blog at www.doeverything.org.uk