Sleepover reunion for Deryn’s family

PUBLISHED: 12:54 07 May 2013 | UPDATED: 12:54 07 May 2013

Callie, Deryn, Simon and Dylan back together again in Bristol.

Callie, Deryn, Simon and Dylan back together again in Bristol.


It could be any other family photograph taken on the bank holiday weekend.

Mum, dad, brothers and a dog are squashed on to the sofa for a group snap. But this picture is different.

These are the smiling faces of the Blackwells, a family who haven’t been in the same house for a night for almost three months.

Watton boy Deryn, 13, has been recovering in isolation at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children after having a bone marrow transplant to tackle his rare duo of cancer, Langerhans Cell Sarcoma and leukaemia.

He is thought to be the only person to have both conditions at the same time, and the Wayland Academy student has only spent one night out of hospital since he travelled to the south west almost three months ago.

His younger brother, Dylan, is at school in Watton and their parents share their time between Bristol and Norfolk.

Deryn’s second time away from hospital came at the weekend when he was given leave for two nights and stayed in the house given to his family while he is being treated Bristol.

Doctors say it looks as though Deryn is virus free and his bone marrow is grafting.

His family say they hope this is the start of Deryn spending more time out of hospital.

As long as his temperature keeps at a decent level, he could be back out in a matter of weeks for good.

His mum Callie, dad Simon, brother Dylan and dog Ozzy welcomed Deryn back as well as family friends and aunts and uncles.

Mrs Blackwell said: “We just sat out together, talking. It was so nice to be all together again. It’s the small things that people take for granted. We realised we hadn’t just sat together for a long time.”

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