Hope dwindled for Julie and Paul Devigne as a treatment-resistant tumour of their child’s stomach swelled so massive it restricted his capacity to eat, sleep and breathe.
Then, in a surgical feat, medical doctors at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Kids gave little Felix one other shot at life, say the Winnipeg mother and father.
Throughout a greater than six-hour-long process, a cross-disciplinary staff of eight medical employees eliminated the 1.3 kilogram mass — almost three kilos — from the toddler’s physique, defying some specialists’ opinions that the tumour was inoperable.
“It’s extremely laborious to place into phrases the gratitude that we now have,” stated Paul. The household desires to provide anybody in the same state of affairs “a glimmer of hope”
The Devignes had their first baby on July 16, 2020. And other than the peculiarities of elevating a new child throughout a pandemic, they stated Felix appeared to be coming alongside simply effective.
However at round 4 months outdated, Felix turned crankier than common, stated Julie. He wasn’t sleeping effectively, and finally, would not let his mother and father put him down.
Julie took him to the emergency room at Winnipeg’s Well being Sciences Centre to see if he had a urinary tract an infection.
After a battery of assessments, medical doctors instructed her Felix had a tumour in his stomach. He was later identified with rhabdomyosarcoma, a sort of sentimental tissue most cancers that largely impacts kids.
‘This cannot be occurring’
“It was like I used to be in a film,” Julie stated. “This cannot be occurring to us.”
Felix spent months in hospital present process chemotherapy. However the tumour continued to develop till it crammed most of his stomach cavity, displacing a number of important organs, together with his kidneys, liver and bowel. The strain from the mass additionally impeded his lungs.
“We had been beginning to run out of choices and hope,” stated Paul Devigne. “It was in all probability the worst time of our lives.”
The Winnipeg oncologists treating Felix began reaching out to medical amenities with the experience wanted to take away the tumour.
When Felix’s file discovered its strategy to Dr. Blayne Amir Sayed at SickKids. The surgeon, who’s the hospital’s surgical lead for pediactric liver transplantation was shocked to see such a big tumour in such a small baby.
“We definitely do not see [tumours] like this fairly often in kids Felix’s age, at such an enormous dimension and speedy progress,” he stated.
“This could be one thing you’ll examine in a case report within the medical literature each 10 to twenty years.”
Sayed stated he consulted with friends throughout North America and a few stated they would not try surgical procedure.
However Sayed stated he and his colleagues at SickKids — skilled in advanced pediatric instances — determined it was price a shot.
Tumour was 15% of child’s physique weight
The tumour was roughly 15 per cent of Felix’s physique weight. It will take painstaking precision to take away it with out damaging any organs or veins, stated Sayed. Docs additionally suspected that the urinary tract, which is the place the tumour arose, would require vital reconstruction.
Sayed stated the tumour had additionally given rise to an intricate “vascular net” that meant one fallacious incision might end in main blood loss.
The tumour was obstructing Felix’s vena cava, a big vein that carries blood again to the center. Sayed stated this resulted in a circulatory “site visitors jam,” with blood be rerouted by means of small vessels that turn into more and more engorged.
Furthermore, the tumour had “parasitized,” which meant it was stealing blood provide from close by tissues to assist its speedy progress.
“This was actually a form of meticulous dissection,” he stated. “There are vital dangers, and people embrace demise.”
On the morning of Feb. 4, the Devignes despatched six-month-old Felix into the working room and tried not to consider the worst outcomes.
“It was very laborious saying goodbye to him, as a result of we weren’t positive what was going to occur,” his mom stated.
Hours later, a nurse referred to as to say surgeons had take away your complete tumour. The Devignes cried “glad tears of pleasure.”
Sayed stated he feels optimistic concerning the long-term prognosis.
“For the quantity of surgical procedure that he went by means of, he did terrific,” stated Sayed, including that medical doctors may have monitor for potential indicators of recurrence.
Now again dwelling in Winnipeg, Paul stated he is adjusting to a slower tempo of life after spending so many months in “survival mode.”
Julie stated Felix has some catching as much as do when it comes to growth, however he is making good points by the day. Earlier this week, he rolled onto his abdomen for the primary time, and now he will not cease.
The Devignes stated they owe a debt of gratitude to all the health-workers who by no means gave up on Felix.
“It was just about giving him one other probability of hopefully residing an excellent life,” Julie stated.