Wigan boy, 13, with cancer is given fresh hope

Mark and Emma Foster, from Ince, have been given a boost by doctors just days after being told their son Bailey didn't have long to live

Monday, 10th May 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 10th May 2021, 7:47 am
Mark and Emma Foster with Bailey and Arthur

The family of a Wigan boy with cancer brought home to die have been given fresh hope.

Mark and Emma Foster had been told to brace themselves for the worst that their son Bailey, 13, could succumb to the illness within days.

This was after he endured gruelling chemotherapy after being diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma earlier in the year.

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But after just 10 days of chemotherapy, various medication and weeks in ICU and HDU at Manchester Children’s hospital, the teenager returned to his Ince home last Sunday after becoming more ill.

Now Bailey has been given a renewed chance after doctors told his parents that his current condition is not as bad as first feared.

Mark, 33, said: “We rang the consultant on Friday and they’ve said they’re coming on Tuesday to see how he’s doing.

“Bailey was very weak before and his heart was failing and we were expecting him to die within days.

“But he’s not as bad as first thought and his heart isn’t failing as fast and he’s not going to die so soon, so there’s a chance for him.”

Mark, who along with Emma has been unable to work as they care around the clock for Bailey, said the consultant will visit the family on Tuesday with a view to returning to hospital possibly starting treatment.

He said: “She’ll be having a look at him and if all goes well with the assessment, he could have an echo scan on his heart to see how it is.

“We’ll then take it from there and see how it is in terms of treatment.

“It’s down to Bailey now, he’s defied what everyone thought and he’s not quite done with this world yet. He’s defied all of us. This is massively good news and it gives us some hope.”

The couple had been told that any more treatment would be “too much of a high risk” for him to have.

Mark said: “We were told that Bailey couldn’t have any more treatment for cancer, as his heart was weak.

“He’s also got brain issues and the treatment had an adverse effect on his body so he can’t move .

“This news gives us hope though that treatment could maybe go ahead again though.”

And Mark said Bailey won’t be aware of his condition due to how ill he is, something which he said he would prefer to be the case.

On top of his Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, he also suffers from septo-optic dysplasia, known also as de Morsier syndrome.

A rare congenital malformation, it features a combination of the underdevelopment of the of the optic nerve, pituitary gland dysfunction and absence of part of the brain.

He is fully blind, has growth and hormone deficiencies and complex learning difficulties.

He has also been diagnosed with HLH which is a disease within the bone marrow.

Mark said: “Bailey is in bed with oxygen and he has a container with a syringe of morphine medication.

“We give him medicine and bits of milk through a tube.

“He doesn’t know how ill he is and we’re happy with that as we’d rather him be unaware.

“Myself and Emma are with him most of the time and other family members come and help and Arthur visits but he’s with his nan and grandad.

“He’s doing okay at the moment though.”

And the couple also want to thank the efforts of fundraisers, which has seen a GoFundMe page set-up for the family that has raised £6,300.

That has smashed the original target of £4,000.

The page was launched by their friend Shanice Ingham to help the couple, who until recently, have had to travel to and from the hospital while having to continue paying bills and not being able to currently work.

Thanking the fund-raisers for their extraordinary cumulative efforts, Emma, 32, who is Bailey’s stepmum, and who during her maternity leave for his baby brother Arthur, was made redundant, said: “Ince Rose Bridge have raised £3,000 and there have been other raffles on Facebook.

“So I’d like to thank people.

“Things aren’t too bad at the moment for us as we’ve got used to the situation.

She added: “We have up and down days and we’re just trying to stay positive for the sake of Bailey.”

To make a contribution to the family, people can search for ‘Help Support the Foster family’ on their GoFundMe page.

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