Watton school boy with rare cancer could be home in three weeks

Deryn Blackwell at the house where his family have been living whilst he has been in hosptial. This

Deryn Blackwell at the house where his family have been living whilst he has been in hosptial. This weekend he spent his first night there. - Credit: Archant

He looks like any other teenager who is kicking back and relaxing at the weekend.

With a tablet computer on his lap, mobile phone by his side, and fashionable headphones perched around his ears, there are few signs that this is the 13-year-old Watton boy who has been battling one of the world's rarest forms of cancer.

Deryn Blackwell has been recovering 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.

Thought to be the only person to have both conditions at the same time, the Wayland Academy student has not spent one night out of hospital since he first travelled to Bristol almost 10 weeks ago.

But this weekend Deryn and his family were given a big helping of good news when they were told by medics that the schoolboy is virus free, has no need for morphine, could spend a night away from the hospital – and best of all could be leaving the south west for Watton in a matter of weeks.


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Deryn's mum, Callie Blackwell, said a three-week time-frame for his return to Norfolk is 'very do-able'.

She and Deryn's dad, Simon, have been living alternate weeks in a house provided by the charity Rhys Daniels Trust, with one of them in Watton with their younger son Dylan.

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Mrs Blackwell said: 'We don't want any step backs now, he ticks all the boxes. It will be nice to be back in Norfolk as a family again. And Deryn is really looking forward to going home, but it's a scary thought.

'We have spent nine weeks in a hospital environment; you get used to feeling very safe.' She said once Deryn does get back to Watton it will still be a long road to recovery.

He will need to be home-school for at least a year and a half, and despite him being virus free, his immune system will still be very low so he will have to be cautious about how many people are in the same room as him.

Mrs Blackwell said: 'This is the most stressful time now, now that he's rehabilitating. 'First it was all about cancer, then the transplant and now we will wonder if it will come back. 'We have been taught a lesson that life is precious and to always live it to the full.'

The family are continuing to fundraise, and this week received £419 from the Conservative Club Bingo Members.

Tweet Deryn at @_DoEveRYthiNg and follow his mum's blog at www.doeverything.org.uk

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