A teenager who was given just days to live after becoming the only boy in the world with TWO forms of cancer has baffled doctors by making a miraculous recovery.
Deryn Blackwell, 14, was diagnosed with leukaemia aged ten and developed rare Langerhans Cells Sarcoma two years later.
After undergoing FOUR unsuccessful bone marrow transplants his parents were told the treatment had failed and he was unlikely to survive longer than 50 days.
By day 46 they moved into a hospice to prepare for his death and even planned his funeral together.
But two months later Deryn is still alive and gaining in strength – baffling doctors who thought they could do no more to save him.
His mum Callie Blackwell, 33, also believes her son has drawn strength from the many celebrities who have backed his plight – including Simon Pegg, Russell Howard and Paul Hollywood.
The mum-of-two, who quit work to care for her son full-time, said: “After the fourth transplant they told us it had failed – this was in the first week of December last year.
“They told us that he would probably struggle to reach 40 days after the last transplant and that after 50 days we could forget it really.
“When Deryn reached day 46 we were sent to a hospice to prepare for his death.
“It got to the point where his funeral was planned – he’d picked the music, the guests, the venue and the dress code.
“We had all sat down together to plan it so that it would be how he wanted. I guess he won’t have to plan a funeral again though!”
Deryn, from Watton, Norfolk, was first diagnosed with leukaemia in July 2010 after his glands swelled and he lost his appetite.
Two years later the student was told he had Langerhans Cell Sarcoma, one of only six people in the world with the condition.
He was transferred to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children last February for specialist treatment.
His mum and dad Simon, 34, and nine-year-old brother Dylan moved into a house nearby, provided by a charity.
He was given four bone marrow transplants – two of which were his own – in an attempt to beat the cancer.
Deryn, who was sick up to five times a day, would often ask his mother when the end would come.
Mum Callie said: “Deryn had certainly accepted his death. It wasn’t that he’d given up but he’d got to the point that he was ready to embrace it.
“When someone gives up they question what the point in living is. Deryn wasn’t like that – he was just very calm about it all.
“Deryn said to us: ‘When you finally accept your fate it is the best time of your life – you just accept it.’
“He handled himself very well – he had prepared himself to not have a future. He had been so ill that he was looking forward to dying.
“It was like telling your child you are going to Disneyland and then keep putting it off.
“He kept asking when is it going to happen – he wanted to escape from everyone poking him all the time. He was sick of being dictated to.
“But the better he is getting, the more positive he is about being alive.
“The problem is now his future is a little uncertain again and that’s something he didn’t like before – the unpredictability of it.”
In December, after the treatment had apparently failed, his family were moved into Children’s Hospice South West in Wraxall, North Somerset, and told they had to come to terms with losing Deryn.
It is believed that his body has now started producing white blood cells to fight the cancerous cells – which doctors thought the fourth bone marrow transplant had failed to do.
Deryn’s struggle has touched the hearts of many famous faces, including Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and he now claims to be best friends with funny-man Russell Howard.
In November star baker Paul Hollywood made his dreams come true by taking him for a spin in a £170,000 McLaren supercar.
Callie said: “He has become friend with quite a few famous faces now – and many of them have still kept in touch, checking up on him which is so nice.
“Russell Howard is his best mate! He would come and visit Deryn about once a week when he was really poorly – he’d bring him gifts to cheer him up, like dvds and stuff.
“He has also met Simon Pegg and Nick Frost – Simon actually FaceTimed him on his birthday and he quite often texts me to see how he’s getting on which is very surreal.
“I think having celebrities supporting him has really helped him through- we’re not a particularly wealthy and we can’t promise big holidays or anything.
“Having people like Russ around is great because he’s been able to offering Deryn things that we never could.
“He’s part of Russell’s tour and he’s been told he can have tickets to any of the shows.
“Things like that have really motivated him. They have given him something to look forward to, which is really special when you didn’t expect to have a future.
“He can now start mapping a future out and getting back on his feet.”