Meet Elis. Back in June 2020 the usually jolly and energetic ten-month-old Elis became suddenly unwell. His concerned parents Carys and Gareth took him to the GP where he was given antibiotics for a suspected ear infection but over the next couple of days his condition deteriorated rapidly. Things took another dramatic turn for the worst when they noticed that Elis’ nappy was filled with blood.
Carys and Gareth rushed Elis to Glangwili General Hospital in Carmarthen but as it was during the height of Covid only one parent was allowed to stay. Elis was admitted and was diagnosed with pneumonia but was receiving further tests and scans of his bladder and kidneys. Carys knew for sure that something was very wrong when, despite the one parent only restrictions, she was told to call Gareth up to the hospital as quickly as possible.
Gareth and Carys were taken aside and told that their baby son had a large mass, measuring 8.8×10.1×6.7cm, on his left kidney. He was diagnosed with a Wilms’ Tumour, a rare type of kidney cancer, and blue-lighted to the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales to start chemotherapy immediately.
Elis underwent an operation to remove the tumour and affected kidney. Thankfully, the operation was a success and surgeons at the children’s hospital were able to remove the whole tumour. Elis only then needed a further four weeks of chemotherapy before being considered cancer free.
Now three-years- old, Elis is growing fast and is full of life. He currently has three monthly check-ups at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital and will continue to be regularly monitored throughout his life.
Carys says: “The staff at Noah’s Ark were fantastic. Their positivity kept us going even in the darkest of times. Logistically it was difficult to manage a 10-month-old who wanted to constantly be on the move so they kept his infusion times short so that he could keep being his usual self.
“The best thing about Rainbow ward was the staff, in particular Maddie, his consultant. Everyone was so helpful and supportive which was particularly appreciated given that due to the Covid restrictions, Gareth and I weren’t able to be together and lean on each other for support.”
Elis had been due to start nursery at Cae’r Ffair Nursery in the September after his diagnosis but due to his treatment was unable to. Nursery owners Sharon and Dion James wanted to fundraise for the Noah’s Ark Charity in honour of Elis and went on to raise an incredible £7,120 for Rainbow ward where Elis received his treatment.
Carys says: “We are eternally grateful for the prompt diagnosis and support from our local hospital, Glangwili General, and for the treatment and management of his condition in Noah’s Ark. Throughout his journey he has received exceptional care. All staff involved have been incredible. We will never forget the strength and positivity they gave us which guided us through the most terrifying time of our lives! We are so proud of Sharon and Dion for how much they raised for Rainbow ward and hope it helps to improve services for families just like us.”