Always trust your instinct, especially if that instinct is that of a mother.
Craig is his dad’s little boy – followed by his two brothers. He is a real chatterbox who loves to sing. “He sings all the time,” his mother Taryn says pleasantly.
Craig’s journey started on 4 October 2017 after he returned from a family day trip to a petting zoo. When they arrived home, his grandmother immediately noticed a change in his demeanour. “He didn’t seem well at all.” Craig started crying and was in obvious pain as he clutched his tummy and asked his grandmother to comfort and hold him.
His grandmother immediately contacted his mother at work and informed her about Craig’s situation. “I never call the GP or just book an appointment with the doctor but this day I did,” says Craig’s mother. Having heard the sheer agony and pain in his cry she dropped everything and rushed home. When she arrived home, Craig’s discomfort had heightened and she immediately rushed both him and her older son to the GP as she suspected that it may be something he and his brother contracted at the petting zoo.
When they arrived at the GP, the doctor suspected it to be his appendix. However, he found it strange as Craig did not have a high fever. He then referred the family to Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital for a second opinion. The family journeyed to the Hospital and upon their arrival, Craig was immediately admitted and examined. He was then booked for an appendectomy (a surgical removal of the appendix.) Doctors explained that the operation will be a lengthy one as Craig went into the theatre.
However, it was not long when Craig’s doctor called the family – his parents immediately suspected that something had gone wrong and they were filled with fear and dread. The family was shocked when the doctor explained that it was not his appendix but in fact a ruptured tumour – and suspected it to be Wilms Tumour, the most common kidney cancer found in children. Doctors explained that Craig would unfortunately lose his right kidney.
The medical team then proceeded to remove the tumour and thankfully and rather miraculously, Craig recovered so well that he did not require intensive care and was discharged within a day. The tumour was then sent for further testing and the family patiently awaited the results.
Sadly, two weeks later Craig’s mother received the devastating news that he would be starting chemotherapy soon. Having been so hopeful and positive, this news hit her to the core but she had to remain strong for all her boys.
Craig then started treatment, where he would receive chemotherapy once a week for six months. His mother explains that the chemotherapy had an immense effect on him. “While on chemotherapy, he’s very moody. He swings between temper tantrums and the silent treatment.” She says bravely.
Looking back on this journey, she believes that it is her faith in the medical team and that of her family has held them together. She is deeply grateful for the support they have received at Red Cross Children’s Hospital and from everyone who played and continues to play a vital role in their lives.
Craig is currently in hospital completing his last chemo treatment and will be closely monitored. The family looks forward to him being healthy and out of hospital again. His devoted mom documents all his challenges, milestones and victories on her blog so that he will be able to read and reflect on it later in his life. All she hopes for is a happy and healthy family. “Nothing is more important than this.” Says Taryn.
With this, brings even more great news as the family is excited to soon be welcoming another addition later this year – Taryn is expecting and it’s a girl!