Nathaniel flies to Great Ormond St Hospital for specialist treatment
Great North Children's Hospital, Newcastle
Ormond Street Hospital,
Fighting a brain tumour
Nathaniel was only 19 months old when he was diagnosed with a rare type of brain tumour called Ependymoma. Surgeons at the Great North Children’s Hospital successfully removed the very large tumour but Nathaniel needed further treatment to ensure the brain tumour was eradicated.
Nathaniel needed to receive Proton Beam Therapy to treat the tumour. This treatment is deemed safer than radiotherapy for babies, however, the only hospitals that could provide Nathaniel with this essential treatment were in Germany, London and Manchester – hundreds of miles from where Nathaniel was being treated in Newcastle.
Flying Nathaniel for specialist treatment
The only charity that could help Nathaniel was Lia’s Wings. Lia’s Wings worked with local NHS transport team, NECTAR, to fly Nathaniel from Great North Children's Hospital to Great Ormond Street Hospital so that he could receive Proton Beam Therapy, to help treat the brain tumour. Our aeroplanes provided an infection-free environment that ensured Nathaniel was kept safe whilst travelling the long-distance to Great Ormond Street Hospital.
On transfer day, our Flight Team collected Nathaniel and his mum, Kerry-Anne, from Great North Children's Hospital. He was kept warm and cosy, and slept for the entire transfer. As it was a particularly cold day, we treated Kerry-Anne to a hot chocolate and lunch to keep her extra warm and comfortable during the transfer.
Thanks to his Lia's Wings air transfer, Nathaniel was able to quickly receive the specialist treatment he desperately needed. After just two days at Great Ormond Street Hospital, we flew Nathaniel and Kerry-Anne back to the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle, where he could continue his treatment.
Reuniting Nathaniel with his family
Nathaniel's big sister, Elora, was just three years old when Nathaniel was first diagnosed and struggled immensely with her brother and mum not being at home for prolonged periods of time whilst Nathaniel was in hospital. She couldn’t understand why he wasn’t getting better and struggled being away from her mum. It was an incredibly difficult time for the whole family.
Once Nathaniel and Kerry-Anne returned from London, his medical team in Newcastle gave Nathaniel the all-clear to be discharged and cared for at home. They ensured that before he was sent home that he could swallow safely and trained Kerry to feed him through a feeding tube at home.
On Christmas Eve, Nathaniel was officially discharged from hospital. He was able to celebrate Christmas at home with his big sister, Elora, and his parents. This felt like a huge milestone for the family. They were so happy to be able to care for Nathaniel at home and be reunited as a family.
Hope for the future
Nathaniel’s future, whilst not certain, is looking more positive and hopeful. He has overcome some incredible health challenges in his short life and continues to impress everyone he meets.
Kerry-Anne says: “His consultant did say that there is a good chance the tumour will return but also said it either will or won't and that they can't predict it, but that he will be closely monitored and if the tumour returns they usually return to the same place so they know where to look and would catch it sooner. Fingers crossed we don't have to go through this all again though.”
Nathaniel is an incredibly strong little boy and is progressing day by day. Kerry-Anne says: “He's still improving - crawling, climbing on the settee, babbling and has even started to try to stand by pushing off the floor. So far he's managing downward dog!”
We are so proud that Nathaniel’s air transfer resulted in him being discharged from hospital, reunited with his family and gave him access to specialist treatment that helped eradicate his brain tumour. Your donation completely transformed the outcome for Nathaniel and gave him a future that may not have been possible without Lia’s Wings’ intervention.
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