The mother of a six-year-old boy who became the youngest patient in Britain to be diagnosed with liver cancer says her son is finally ‘cancer free’.
When little Evan Wilson was born and handed to his mum Lorraine on November 2011, a midwife spotted swelling in his stomach.
The youngster was quickly taken away to be examined by specialists who soon after, broke the news to his family that he had a rare form of liver cancer.
At just two hours old, Evan became the youngest patient in Britain ever to be diagnosed at birth.
But now after a difficult start to life, Evan, from Lennoxtown, East Dunbartonshire, is finally cancer-free — after five difficult years in remission.
Dad Scott, 48, and Lorraine, 45, say they are proud of their son for battling the disease.
Lorraine, a psychiatric nurse, said: “People kept saying the cancer was clear when he was still in remission and I told them to not say that.
“Although it looks clear it could have still come back so that’s why I told them they had to wait for five years before announcing that.
“So when we found out he was cleared from remission it was amazing. I could finally say my son has been cleared of cancer.
“Now we just need to make sure our children don’t get polyps. The checks that Evan does would spot that if it began to grow.
“They both have a bad genetic that could cause this but if it’s spotted early it can be fixed.”
Now Even is getting ready to become a primary three pupil at St Machan’s Primary School in East Dunbartonshire, after summer.
Scott, also a psychiatric nurse, said: “He likes St Machan’s Primary School, he enjoys it. I’m proud of what he has achieved.
“We’ve had ups and downs as a family and a lot of couples divorce when things become difficult but we’ve stayed really strong.
“After summer he will go into primary three – he is a typical boy, he goes to school and just gets on with it.
“The school thing is the hardest part of it but we will get through it.
“He’s a great boy, every time I ask him about what he went through, he says I was in a fight with a fox.
“And I ask him if his beat it and he says yes.
“Kids get on with it. They don’t cry and say poor me.”
Dad Scott says Evan has struggled to adapt classroom life after the chemotherapy left him with a hearing problem.
He said: “Since going through the chemotherapy, we noticed that one of the side effects is that he had some sort of damage to his hearing.
“In 2013, he did a hearing test and we discovered he had a hearing problem.
“If you shout his name in a loud room, he can’t hear you unless he is facing you.
“We spoke to his teachers and they feel he would be better going to a disability school as he is quite unique.
“He has not been diagnosed with anything which is why we have struggled to get the appropriate help for him in school.”
Scott says the other side effect of Evan’s chemo has been to his taste buds — which have matured well beyond his years.
He said: “His taste buds have changed, he goes for stronger flavours in food. For example, rather than just having cheese he will prefer to eat mature cheese.
“He also loves a peperami. He can’t get enough of that. I always have to make sure there is enough for him in this house.
“When he did the chemo we did got told that there was a chance his foot taste would change.”
Evan was born at Glasgow’s Princess Royal hospital weighing 6Ibs 9oz and was quickly diagnosed with hepatoblastoma – a rare cancerous tumor that starts in the liver.
He was moved to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow the day he was born.
After just 12 days in the world, he began chemotherapy where medics struggled to calculate the safe dosage for a baby.
The youngster went through seven chemotherapy sessions and on April 4, 2012, he had surgery at Birmingham’s Hospital to remove his gall bladder and half his liver.
He also fought off two bouts of septicemia.
But in June 2012, doctors confirmed he was in remission.
Evan, brother of Jorja, 12, is still closely monitored by medics and continues to go for yearly check-ups.
Scott said: “He goes up for yearly ultrasounds to check on his liver and kidneys. This is to make sure he doesn’t suffer cardiac arrest.
“He also gets chest x-rays and they check his heart too.
“We’ve later found out that the chemo he got for liver cancer increases the risk of him getting leukaemia later on in his life.
“I always get scared when he has to go for a checkup because I just want it to be good news.
“Jorja found it hard but she’s doing very well with it.
“The headmaster at the school created a support group and I think she found that extremely helpful.