Magical Christmas for Jack and his family

Ludlow Advertiser: Left to right are mumChrissie, four-year-old Jack, six-year-old Jamie and two-year-old Zak with Chrissie's sister Annie Woodhouse. Left to right are mumChrissie, four-year-old Jack, six-year-old Jamie and two-year-old Zak with Chrissie's sister Annie Woodhouse.

IT has been a real cracker of a Christmas for a family from Cleobury Mortimer and Tenbury who have been able to get together around the tree after a year they will never forget.

Chrissie Edwards, from Cleobury Mortimer, and her sister Annie Woodhouse, who lives in Tenbury, were able to cuddle up to Chrissie’s son Jack.

The greatest Christmas present of all for them is that little Jack, who is just four years old, is able to be with his loving family.

A year ago they had no idea what was in store but in January Jack was diagnosed with leukaemia and so started a 12 months roller coaster ride.

Jack is home for Christmas although a few weeks ago he was in hospital with a viral infection and raging temperature that had all of the family seriously worried.

“It was the worst that he has been for a long time and they did not know what was causing the problem and put it down to a virus,” said Chrissie, aged 25.

“We had no idea that Jack was ill this time last year and what we were in for. I think it is better not to know what is in store,” said the young mother who has two other small children.

Jack was diagnosed after being taken to see the doctor with what was thought to be a minor problem.

This resulted in him having to travel every other day to Birmingham for chemotherapy which was made more difficult by the fact that the family do not have a car.

Later in the year he spent prolonged periods in hospital on an intensive course of treatment that has enabled the young boy, who started school in September, to go onto a regime of maintenance chemotherapy with most of his treatment at home.

He has been transferred for general care from The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham into the hands of the hospital in Worcester.

Although the prognosis is hopeful and the likelihood of an eventual cure for Jack is good the family know they have a long road to travel and many years of ongoing treatment and check ups will follow.

There will also be scares like the one recently when Jack was back in hospital with a fever that refused to respond to antibiotics.

At one stage it looked as if he might have to be referred back to the specialist oncology unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in but he then started to get better.

There has been huge support from the local community and family including his Aunt Annie in Tenbury who with others raised more than £3,500 from a charity run.

“People have been so helpful and supportive and I do not know how we would have coped without them,” said Chrissie.

“We want to thank everyone who has helped us to come through and be all together as a family this Christmas.”

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