4-year-old Archie Wilks has beaten COVID-19 while battling cancer at the same time.
Archie was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer, in January 2019. He was going through chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatment when he first started showing symptoms of COVID-19.
Although his parents, Simon and Harriet, did all they could to isolate themselves early on and protect themselves from the virus little Archie still fell victim to it.
“We only had a community nurse visit a couple of times and some trips to the day unit where we kept away from whoever we possibly could and stayed outside to keep away from the waiting room,” Simon explained.
“But despite all the efforts, apparently Archie was still the first child oncology patient to be tested positive at Addenbrooke’s and potentially in the UK. Typical of Archie!” he joked.
Archie first showed signs of fatigue and a cough, but because flu-like symptoms were common side effects to his chemotherapy the family waited for him to develop a fever before having him tested.
Archie broke out in fever at the day unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge after starting a course of cancer treatments. He was quickly moved to the coronavirus ward where he was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Archie and his father were isolated in the hospital for 6 days after that. His father dubbed their room the “man-cave” with nurses and doctors wearing “the full gear” when entering.
Archie was exhausted and needed oxygen overnight for a few days. Then his family updated supporters on Archie’s Journey Facebook page: “Archie’s definitely out the other side of the virus with no cough and no need for oxygen.”
Simon told PA: “Luckily because we had been so cautious, isolating early and completely, we wouldn’t have come into contact with many people during any potential stage of him having the virus, which was helpful to mentally deal with the positive result, knowing we wouldn’t have caused any potential harm to anyone else.
“It’s reassuring for other parents to see that a vulnerable child like Archie has coped well so far with the virus but we obviously don’t want anyone thinking it’s a good idea to not worry about their children contracting it.”
The family was happily reunited on April 1 when doctors said Archie was well enough to be in isolation at home.
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