Before Cancer

Before Cancer

If you’re lucky, you have a child like Patrick in your life. A live wire. Someone whose smile lights up the house, and whose laughter fills every room with warmth. Our house was always loud with Patrick in it. But four years ago, just before Christmas, Patrick got really sick. Our house went quiet. And it stayed that way for a very long time. Because that Christmas our family was given the news that no family ever wants to hear. News that tears families apart. Once a healthy and vibrant little boy, Patrick was diagnosed with leukaemia. What followed was three and a half incredibly tough and painful years.

It was the first Christmas Patrick was excited about Santa. But he was so sick, he didn't even remember it. He wasn't even aware of his presents.

Christmas Cancelled

Christmas Cancelled

Life started to unravel for our family just before Christmas.Patrick was only two years old. He got a terrible fever – his temperature shot up to 104 degrees.
On Christmas Day we had to bring him to the doctor. Christmas was cancelled. The doctors told us Patrick had leukaemia. He’d need to start chemo right away. Patrick had three and a half years of treatment ahead of him. His first month was horrendous. But on day 31, Patrick suffered another almost fatal blow. He had a brain seizure caused by a fungal infection. He spent 10 days in ICU and 3 full months in hospital

Donate

He’d say, ‘I just want to die.’ And ‘I don’t feel the same mum. I don’t like feeling like this.’ It would break my heart seeing what the drugs were doing to him. He was just a baby. My baby. This was so wrong.

Barretstown

Barretstown

Cancer took my son, and my whole family, into the darkest place of our lives. But there was a light at the end of the tunnel waiting for us. And that light was Barretstown. It was in the hospital that I found out about Barretstown. The Hospital Outreach team would come in and play with the children. Patrick loved being around them. And so did Michael - it made him so happy to be spending time with his brother again. It was one of the volunteers who said to me ‘you have to go to Barretstown’!

Family together

Family together

When we entered the huge gates at Barretstown it was as if a large weight was lifting off all our shoulders. We didn’t have to think about doctors, medicine, meals. It was just about my husband and me, and our three boys spending time together as a family. Today the boys still play some of the games the Caras played with them. Their favourite was getting on a bench in a line and pretending they were on a rollercoaster. I think the whole lot of us just knitted together from that uninterrupted time.

Make A Difference Donate Now
Katie-Mai

It took just seven words to devastate our lives. Mum and Dad your daughter has leukaemia ...

Read more