After a devastating neuroblastoma diagnosis when he was just two years old, Archer and his family went through an unimaginably difficult year. As they pick up the pieces and move forward, his mum, Jade, shares just how traumatic it’s been – and why she’s so immensely proud of her brave little boy.
One night, Archer was suffering with pain in his abdomen, so we visited A&E. He had ultrasounds and an MRI, and we were told he either had neuroblastama or a Wilms’ tumour. He started chemotherapy on January 21, 2022, and soon afterwards we received his diagnosis: high risk metastatic stage 4 neuroblastoma, which had spread to his bone marrow. This news quickly dawned on us as a family.
In August, Archer had surgery to remove his tumour and an affected kidney. Whilst this went well, he needed to be intubated for six weeks afterwards. Two weeks later, things took a turn for the worse – he had a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs). It was a traumatic few hours in PICU as staff worked to try and keep him alive.
Archer pulled through but continued to struggle with his oxygen. We were told there was nothing else they could do, and he was given two weeks to live. Telling his sister was the hardest conversation we ever had to have.
After discussing options with his doctors, we decided to try some steroids that would hopefully take the pressure off his lungs, and miraculously they turned everything around. No one involved in his care could believe it. Within two weeks, his oxygen had improved massively, and he was awake, playing and laughing.
Christmas that year was magical, simply because we didn’t think we would have it as a family. We don’t know what the future holds, but this boy has fought tooth and nail to still be here and shown more strength and resilience than any person I know.
Jade, Archer’s mum.
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