Norfolk’s Deryn Blackwell works his way back to full health

Deryn Blackwell, 14, enjoying life in Bristol with his family. Deryn and dad, Simon, at work on Deryn's recovery at the Trojan Fitness gym. Picture: Denise Bradley Deryn Blackwell, 14, enjoying life in Bristol with his family. Deryn and dad, Simon, at work on Deryn's recovery at the Trojan Fitness gym. Picture: Denise Bradley

Thursday, February 6, 2014
11:57 AM

A Norfolk family have spoken of their joy at putting down roots again after a year living hundreds of miles from home in a bid to save their son.

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Deryn Blackwell, 14, is the only person thought to have had leukaemia and Langerhans cell sarcoma at the same time.

In February 2013 he, his mum Callie, dad Simon and younger brother Dylan travelled from their Watton home to Bristol for a bone marrow transplant.

Since then the family have lived in a house provided by a charity, a hospice where they believed Deryn would die. But after three failed transplants and being told he had just days to live, Deryn’s own bone marrow has started to grow back.

Now the Blackwells hope to sign for a permanent home in Bristol.

“It’s really exciting to think we are going to be back together again,” Simon said. “I can share a bed with my wife, take the boys out and have a home. It’s going to be somewhere we can put down roots.”

Deryn was first diagnosed with the blood cancer when he was 10. Now Deryn’s medication has been dropped from 35 drugs a day to just one – and he has even started lifting light weights at a gym to get himself strong again.

After months out of education he and Dylan, nine, are being taught at the hospital’s school for two hours a day.

Callie said: “Once we are out of the hospice will be able to do what we want again. Deryn can play on his games, and we can be all together, doing things like just eating breakfast, like normal families do.”

His family had said his charity, Do Everything, would be his legacy – but now they say it will be his project as he works his way back to full health.

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