Jasmine was born without any major problems. But as the first few weeks went
on, we as parents noticed that something was not right with Jasmine. She was having
problems feeding from her bottle, this in turn made things hard for Jasmine. After
a short time doctors thought it would be best if Jasmine had a feeding tube put in
so she could get the right amount of feed, as she was at this point, under weight
.This was to become the first of our many trips to Torbay Hospital, Devon.
Weeks and Months went past, with still with no clear idea about what was wrong
with Jasmine. Months went in to years with lots of tests and lots of heartache over
exactly what her problems were. As parents, you want the best for your child but
when no one knows what is wrong, then how can they give her the right treatment?
In the year 2000, six years later, we were seen by a doctor at Exeter, who we had
not seen before.(As you can imagine we had seen quite a few by now). He identified
her symptoms, then she had some more tests done at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital,
a few weeks later we got an appointment. We were sat down , and were told the heartbreaking
news, that it was cancer.
Bad enough news at the best of times,but to also told that it was a very rare
type ,for which there was no effective treatment at this time, was even worse. You
cannot start to imagine how we felt. If this was not bad enough, we were then told,
that if she had been diagnosed earlier(at about 2 or 3) then she could have had an
operation that could have reduced the severity of the cancer. Of course, by now it
was to late and the cancer had started to spread throughout her body. The effect
that it had on her body was that it affected her other glands and caused them to
become enlarged. Another effect was that she would develop growths in her chest and
neck. The only treatment that they could offer Jasmine by now was to have the affected
glands and growths cut out because this particular type of cancer does not respond
to chemo or radio therapy.
To date Jasmine has had 10 major open chest and throat operations.As a direct
result of her last operation in Sheffield, her specialist, Dr Harrison has made it
clear that it would not be possible to do any more surgery on Jasmine because her
chest and throat area is so scarred over internally , he cannot be sure where he
is cutting (during her last operation, which took over 11 hours, her AORTA was cut
and she was put on heart bypass for nearly 2 hours). However, Dr Harrison had previously
mentioned about a hospital in America that is trying a new non invasive treatment
and were looking for patients with this specific type of cancer for their trials
(which to date have had very good results). Dr Harrison contacted the hospital on
our behalf. After sending her medical records and details to date to them they have
said that Jasmine is just the kind of subject that they are looking for.