The mum of a Scots teen who has battled cancer has paid a touching tribute to the medics who saved his life after he underwent his last dose of chemotherapy.
Jack Murdoch was just ten-years-old when he was diagnosed with lymphoma – a rare, fast growing cancer of the lymphatic system- in 2018 leaving family devastated.
The Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow became like a second home for the youngster from Dundonald, Ayrshire where he endured many hours in his fight against his disease.
But the family are now celebrating as the now-13-year-old undergoes his final chemo session.
Mum Lorraine told how Jack began becoming unwell after returning from a family holiday to Turkey.
She said: “Two days after we got back, Jack’s glands were huge so I took him to our local hospital where they first thought it could be Glandular Fever. When the test for this came back clear and his breathing deteriorated we were blue-lighted up to Glasgow and the Royal Hospital for Children.”
The diagnosis of Lymphoblastic lymphoma then followed and Jack spent the next seven weeks in the hospital with his mum and dad Alistair.
Lorraine said: “Jack was extremely ill, he had a tumour in his chest which was also obstructing his windpipe. It was a really worrying time.
“Jack spent seven weeks in the RHC initially and we were back and forth to the hospital four or five times a week right up until April 2019.
“He missed all this time at school but did get lessons in hospital and his own teacher helped weekly too.
“The care he received in the Schiehallion ward was incredible. The continuity of care was also excellent and seeing the same staff each time helped us build up trust while going through a really tough time.
“Jack was getting regular treatments including port access and cannulas – so this was a really big deal for him – and trusting the staff was a big part of this.”
For the last two and a half years Jack has been on a ‘maintenance’ dose of chemotherapy. His last line of chemo took place last week and he will be able to stop taking his oral medication before Christmas.
Lorraine said: “To get to where we are now has been difficult, but you just get your strength from somewhere. We can’t thank the RHC staff enough – quite simply they have saved Jack’s life.”
Lorraine, Alistair and Jack have many memories of the journey they have taken – and one involves a very special gift he received from his big sister.
Lorraine explained: “Jack often had to have his hand ‘frozen’ with a spray and he referred to this as his Olaf spray – the character from the Frozen films.
“When he was in Intensive Care, his sister bought him an Olaf balloon, which then went everywhere with him, remarkably staying inflated over the years.
“We found it in his room last week and it’s started to lose its air – symbolic as he approached his last chemo session. Maybe Olaf knows that too?”
One of Jack’s doctors at the Royal Hospital for Children, Professor Brenda Gibson said: “It is delightful to see Jack complete his treatment. He has coped amazingly well, not just with his initial presentation, but with all of the treatment that followed.
“It has been a privilege to watch him grow into a remarkable young man and we wish him all the luck in the world for the future.”