Brave girl who twice battled leukaemia looking forward to Christmas at home

Immy Roe, 10, from Taverham, who had a bone marrow transplant in November 2019 for leukaemia. She is looking forward to a...

Immy Roe, 10, from Taverham, who had a bone marrow transplant in November 2019 for leukaemia. She is looking forward to a family Christmas at home. - Credit: Anna Dagless

This time last year 10-year-old Immy Roe's family was gripped with fear after a life-saving bone marrow transplant to cure her leukaemia had not worked.

But a year later, following a gradual recovery and plenty of support from family, friends and the Taverham community, the youngster and her family are looking forward to celebrating Christmas Day at home - rather than in hospital.

Immy Roe on the day of her bone marrow transplant on November 29, 2019. 

Immy Roe on the day of her bone marrow transplant on November 29, 2019. - Credit: Anna Dagless

Her mother, Anna Dagless, 39, said: "At Christmas last year, we were told her transplant had failed and Immy was given just a 10 day window in which to turn things around with all the viruses and infections she had. It was terrifying.

"All we wanted for Christmas was a sign the bone marrow was regenerating but daily blood tests every day showed nothing was happening.

"Immy was extremely lucky the transplant worked, given the odds were against her. Returning to school is the dream."

Immy Roe, 10, (right) with her twin sister Charlotte Roe (left) and 11-year-old brother, Liam Roe.

Immy Roe, 10, (right) with her twin sister Charlotte Roe (left) and 11-year-old brother, Liam Roe. - Credit: Anna Dagless

The Drayton CofE Junior School pupil was initially diagnosed with leukaemia aged just six in 2016, which put her on a two-and-a-half-year treatment journey of chemotherapy at Addenbrooke's Hospital.

And just six months after her final round she relapsed in July 2019 and was diagnosed with leukaemia - cancer of the white blood cells - causing her to have the bone marrow transplant in November that year.

Following the operation at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children she had to isolate for 100 days due to her low immune system and by the time she returned home the first coronavirus lockdown had started.

Immy Roe, 10, from Taverham, on her return home to Norfolk after 100 days in isolation in hospital. 

Immy Roe, 10, from Taverham, on her return home to Norfolk after 100 days in isolation in hospital. - Credit: Anna Dagless

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"Immy has missed so many occasions over the last four years but we have so much to be thankful for - we are here celebrating Christmas and looking forward to a better 2021," Miss Dagless added.

Her daughter, who has a twin sister and 11-year-old brother, experienced a rare and serious side effect of the transplant called Thrombotic Microangiopathy this summer which caused her new immune system to attack her kidneys.

Immy Roe, 10, from Taverham, who is recovering after having a bone marrow transplant in November 2019. 

Immy Roe, 10, from Taverham, who is recovering after having a bone marrow transplant in November 2019. - Credit: Anna Dagless

But despite having to receive weekly injections of a drug at Addenbrooke's for the condition, Miss Dagless said Immy was recovering well.

She added: "To other parents in similar situations, take each day at time, stay positive, appreciate what you have and try and have a laugh when you can."





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