Young patient beats cancer for his birthday
St George’s cancer patient Patrick McCarthy celebrated his tenth birthday in style by ringing the end of treatment bell.
Patrick was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in January 2019. ALL is the most common type of leukaemia in children, with about 450 to 500 new cases diagnosed in the UK each year. The five-year survival rate for children with ALL has greatly increased over time and is now about 90% overall.
Patrick spent three years undergoing treatment from specialist teams at St George’s – where paediatrics is rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission.
Patrick’s mum, Jeeraphon Prathumman said: “We’re overjoyed that Patrick is cancer free, it’s been a very special birthday to remember.”
St George’s is the only hospital site in London where children with cancer receive oncology care, oncology surgery, paediatric intensive care and neurosurgery all under one roof.
Ringing the bell is a special moment for the whole family to celebrate. Patrick’s father Gerard McCarthy said: “I can’t put into words how fantastic the St George’s Hospital paediatric staff have been in supporting us.
“Patrick has been through a tough time, but all the hospital staff have gone above and beyond to help make Patrick’s experience at hospital very memorable.
“Patrick really enjoyed his lessons at the hospital school, and the community nursing team were fantastic throughout the Covid-19 lockdown period and helped make the transition from hospital treatment to recovery at home a lot easier for us. We are so grateful to all the staff on Pinkney Ward for their help and are forever indebted to their care.”
Naomi Oldreive, Paediatric Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, said: “Ringing the bell is a momentous occasion for children and young patients. As well as being a chance to celebrate finishing their treatment, it’s an opportunity to recognise how far they’ve come.
“It’s also nice for other families to witness, as it gives them hope that one day their child will also ring the bell. It’s a symbol of hope; it shows there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
We wish Patrick a bright and happy future.