Little Charlie Craig has been discharged from Bristol children’s following a bone marrow transplant procedure.
Charlie, (4) whose mum Cliodhna Craig is from Cookstown, has been battling Acute Myeloid Leukaemia since January 2013.
He was admitted to hospital in Bristol on May 5, and his parents were already aware that it would be ‘the fight of his life.’
Charlie underwent the procedure last month after a part donor match was found on the global register.
Earlier this year, over 1,000 people turned out in Cookstown and Belfast to register as bone marrow donors inspired by brave Charlie.
Speaking after their son’s release from hospital last week, Charlie’s parents Cliodhna and Fintan said this was the first ‘big milestone’ for Charlie post transplant.
“Charlie has been discharged from Bristol Children’s Hospital. His bloods have recovered very well over past few weeks. He is not allowed to return to Lisburn at this point as they want to monitor him for a couple of weeks in Bristol. This is the first big milestone for Charlie post transplant. I have to tell you that we have witnessed all the prayers working and we thank you for keeping our wee man and our family so close to your hearts and minds,” they said.
Charlie is currently in what is known as ‘recovery phase’ and his parents were informed that he would be in this phase for the next six months to a year.
Cliodhna said: “He is on 10 medicines a day, a feeding tube 15 – 20 hours a day, has had nausea and diarrhoea for past month and although he is a happy wee man his confidence is shook a little. He also has a virus in his system but to date the prayers have kept it at bay. Over the next couple of weeks they look for signs of graft versus host disease, liver functioning, infections etc… none of which ‘have to’ happen and with continued prayer we trust he will be OK. They also at this stage do a test to determine what percentage of his bone marrow is the donors, they want to see at least 95%, we want to see 100%!”
The Craig family said they wished to thank everyone for their support and prayer and have asked that people continue to pray for their ‘little man’.
“Although we are delighted and a wee bit anxious to be leaving the hospital bubble we know with continued prayer everything will be OK. Nancy (Charlie’s little sister) is coming over to see ‘my Charlie’ (as she refers to him) next week, after six weeks of not seeing him and will be just the tonic for him! Thank you for your ‘continued’ prayers and good wishes, we have many stories of how we witnessed prayer working.”
The Craig family said the next milestone for Charlie is to get him home to Lisburn.
A charity organisation set up by Charlies dad Fintan named Cycling for Charlie to raise funds for cancer research will undertake their 2014 cycle in August.
After completing a cycle from Mizen to Malin last year and raising over £15k the 2014 cycle will get underway on Tuesday August 19 in Belmullet, finishing Saturday, August 22 in Howth, Co Dublin. A mere 280 miles!