Darcy, 5, who suffered ruptured tumour wins bravery award
- Credit: Drewery family
A five-year-old girl who spent eight months away from home for cancer treatment has received a bravery award.
Darcy Drewery, from Bildeston Road, Stowmarket, was diagnosed with Wilms' tumour last April.
The Combs Ford Primary School pupil underwent four surgeries, 36 weeks of chemotherapy and a further 10 weeks of treatment as doctors found the tumour ruptured.
As a result, the cancer had spread from her veins to her liver, heart and legs and the family were transported by blue-light to Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Cancer Research UK has awarded Darcy and 14 others a Children and Young People Star Award which recognises young people that have been treated for cancer in the last five years.
Darcy's mum Emily, who gave her job as an accountant in October to focus on Darcy, said: "We were just going from one step to the next so quickly and it felt surreal. A few days earlier, she’d been playing in the paddling pool and then we were there in hospital.
"That operation was 10 hours long. I can’t tell you how strange it was or describe the feeling we had watching our little girl go into theatre, with the odds against her, and not knowing what was going to happen, just literally waiting for a call.
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“She came out of surgery, but was kept in intensive care under sedation and ventilated. They took her back in for another five hours of surgery three days later, when her right kidney was taken out as it had been taken over by the tumour.
"They were pleased with how it went, but she remained sedated and ventilated for another three days before they slowly woke her up. There was only a small blood clot left that still remains today.”
She stayed at Great Ormond Street for two months before being transferred to Addenbrooke's in June and only returned home in January this year.
Darcy's weight had dropped to 12kg by then and she had to be tube-fed until April.
The five-year-old will now have scans every three months for the next three years.
The Combs Ford Primary School pupil, said: "When I was three I had cancer, now I’m better”.
With her parents Emily and Dan and young siblings Fynn, two, and six-week old Jesse, the family watched a special awards show at home.
The awards in partnership with TKMaxx saw a host of famous faces congratulate the award winners and send them messages of support.
Michael Jarvis, Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People spokesperson for the East of England, said: “Darcy is a real star who has been through so much at such a young age. It’s been an absolute privilege to be able to celebrate her courage with a Star Award and to mark the occasion with a special show."
Through research, scientists have found a faulty genes involved in Wilms’ tumour that could help develop new treatments for some children.