At the start of September 2013 Samuel was admitted to St George's hospital in South London. He was diagnosed with a cancer, one that is very rare – Precursor T-Cell Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. This particular type had not been seen before. This meant the treatment for it wasn’t black and white, and there was trial and error in the type of treatment he got.
On Wednesday 22nd January 2014 Samuel lost his fight. He was 9 years old.
Chemotherapy is a very aggressive medicine that impact on all major organs, joints, bones and eyes as well as mental and neurological function. Samuel had 3 blood clots, his left lung collapsed twice and there was water in and around the left lung. This meant it was hard for him to breath and he had to do breathing exercises daily. He had a chest drain for the last month of his life which was extremely painful.
Samuel was very tired,had frequent joint pain from the Chemo, took a multitude of medicine daily along with twice daily injections that were very painful along with frequent blood transfusions, lumbar punctures and painful scans and procedures. His eyesight and hearing were affected too.
But throughout all of this he was an inspiration. He was still his old self – chatty and friendly (unless you brought medicine!). His courage and spirit touched everyone who met him and this helped us all daily.
What is even more amazing is that Samuel wanted to help other children and their families in similar situations as he was in.
He knew how painful, scary and lonely it is for children who have serious or terminal illnesses and conditions. He had such a big heart, and the desire to make a difference that he started by telling off the Matron of ICU, where he had been twice, that the food for kids just wasn’t good enough - think school dinners 30 years ago with only one choice each mealtime.
He wanted the other kids to have a decent choice as a meal isn’t just a meal for them, it is one of the things that can bring a little pleasure in an often horrible and scary day.
So now the hospital has a completely re-vamped menu for the children along with staff dedicated to supporting and helping the kids with their meals. Fantastic! You’d think that’s enough. No.
Samuel started his charity to help really sick kids and their families get through what is most likely the worst time in their lives, to make their time more bearable and to bring some relief, fun and hope to their day.
Samuel’s Charity helps any sick children, whether in hospital or not.
Through Samuel’s Charity Facebook Page we aimed to raise a few hundred pounds to help out the other kids. Samuel wanted to give them the chance to have a nice meal on when they felt up to eating.
People just kept donating and word spread through the Facebook Page. Now Samuel could really make a difference – his charity could improve the day to day life of many of the children and their families going through serious illnesses like Samuel.