LOOK: Four-year-old cancer patient Archie takes first walk after beating coronavirus
- Credit: PA
A four-year-old boy battling a rare form of cancer has taken his first walk after spending six weeks fighting off coronavirus at home.
Little Archie Wilks, who is being treated for neuroblastoma, was diagnosed with Covid-19 at the end of March.
It took four weeks before his parents Simon and Harriet thought he was “out the other side” of the potentially deadly virus, and another four weeks before Archie was able to head outside for a walk for the first time in two months, alongside his twin brother Henry.
Mr Wilks, 32, described their first family outing for two months on Friday in the fields near their house in Saffron Walden as “fantastic”.
“It was great to have Archie tested negative,” said Mr Wilks.
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“We’ve been in complete isolation anyway due to Archie being so vulnerable and we’ve had to be extra careful, knowing that he has potentially been shedding the virus for the last six weeks.
“The walk was fantastic. I got a good work out carrying them both a mile home, when they refused to walk any further.
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“It was a bit more difficult than I remember, they’ve grown in the last two months and we’re a bit out of practice.”
Archie has been an inspiration to many parents with seriously ill children after it was reported that he would survive Covid-19.
Clearly keen to catch up on some time outside, Archie, Henry and their parents were out over the weekend for another socially distant walk.
“Living in a rural area and not stepping foot off the drive for so long has been difficult mentally, as we often went for walks to clear our heads before the lockdown anyway,” he added.
“Just going for a short walk made all the difference for us all.
“As most people are finding, it’s mentally tough to be indoors for so long, especially with young children.
“Just leaving the house really excited the boys (and us) and it definitely got rid of some of their extra energy, calming them down and even getting them both to bed on time.”
Archie has been fighting neuroblastoma, which affects around 100 children each year in the UK, since he was diagnosed in January 2019 and left so weak he was unable to stand.
The rare cancer is most common in children under the age of five and develops from specialised nerve cells left behind from a baby’s development in the womb.
Family and friends have raised £189,000 of their £200,000 target so Archie can take part in a vaccine trial in the US which could reduce the chance of the cancer returning once he is in remission.
Mr Wilks said the vaccine trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York “will look to reduce the chance of that happening and allow us all to know we have done everything possible to give Archie the best chance at life”.