A YOUNG boy has been allowed home for more than a few hours for the first time since he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.
Four-year-old Charlie Taylor had only been home for one 24-hour period since he was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in August before being allowed home for 10 days on Friday.
Tumours were discovered behind his eyebrow and in his spine after a consultant spotted his eye drooping when he attended a hospital appointment in relation to him also being diagnosed with autism and ADHD.
It was also discovered that the cancer had spread to his bone marrow.
He was immediately admitted to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital for year-long treatment course that has so far seen him undergo four rounds of intensive chemotherapy. Up until now, the chemotherapy has meant that Charlie, who lives in Leigh with his mum Charlotte Marriott and five-year-old sister Grace, has been too poorly to come home.
But he is now responding well and should be able to stay at home for 10 days until his fifth round of chemotherapy is due to start.
His nan Veronica Marriott said: “Charlie came home on Friday night at 8pm after spending more than a 100 days on ward 84.
“Charlotte, his mum, is overjoyed about him being home where he can spend time with his sister Grace.
She has been staying with Charlotte’s sister, Natasha, while Charlotte has been at Charlie’s bedside.
“We have been going through a rollercoaster of emotions with Charlie – one day he is up, next day down.
“Charlie is a fighter, though, and is at the moment winning the battle. His bone marrow tests have come back that he hasn’t any cancer cells in the bit they have tested and his tumours are shrinking.” But Charlie still faces months of treatment to rid him completely of cancer, and stop it coming back.
His family launched a fund-raising campaign in October in the hopes of making sure Charlie gets the treatment and the support he needs to make a full recovery.
His mum’s best friend, Kirstie Unsworth, has also asked for donations so she can give every child in the ward a stocking at Christmas.
“He still has a long way to go but getting there slowly, he is learning to walk again and is progressing well,” Veronica added.
“Now he is home and out of the security blanket of ward life should be easier. But sometimes Charlie is a very nervous boy and needs to now settle back into normality. His mum has now become the nurse. He is home now, fingers crossed, for 10 days till his next chemotherapy starts.
“We are also looking for any fund-raising ideas that anyone can come up with because Charlie’s fight for life is just beginning.” In the next few months Charlie could need radiotherapy, a stem cell transplant and surgery to rid his little body of cancer.
And his family still does not know if he will be able to spend Christmas at home.
So to make sure Charlie and all the other children on the ward have as a good a Christmas as possible, Veronica and Kirstie are asking people to donate stockings and gifts for all of them.
The children on the ward range from 10 months to 16 years but any donations would be appreciated.
The family are working with a charity called Solving Kids Cancer and hope to have a Just Giving page set up soon.
In the meantime, they regularly update a Facebook page called Hand in Hand with Charlie and the family can be contacted by emailing email@example.com.
Anyone wishing to donate for the stocking appeal can drop items at Vibe Tanning on Chapel Street in Leigh or the Trust in Leigh office on Market Street.