The parents of Chester schoolgirl Erin Cross faced ‘the worst day’ of their lives when the six-year-old suddenly suffered a life-threatening seizure during her leukaemia treatment in Seattle.
Sarah and Antony Cross said Monday, September 5 turned out to be even more difficult than the day Erin was originally diagnosed back in 2012 after their little girl stopped breathing and doctors had to work at record speed to save her life.
Erin, who is now in the third month of vital Car T Cell therapy at Seattle Children’s Hospital, had been making good progress when she began spiking high temperatures and experiencing hand tremors before suffering seizures that lasted for seven hours.
Sarah said the image of doctors working to stabilise Erin will be very hard to remove from her mind, but thankfully Erin has made good progress since then, and her blood tests have revealed no trace of leukaemia cells, which her parents say is ‘the best news we can receive at the moment’
“Erin was being reviewed by a doctor when the first main seizure hit which was very intense and within seconds the code blue team were in her room,” recalls Sarah. “Erin stopped breathing, was intubated and having her breaths done for her by one of the team. The speed in which they worked to save her life was incredible, something I will never forget.
“They got the first seizure under control and she was rushed down to ICU. Once down there she continued to have seizures for seven hours and it took a huge amount of medication to stabilise her. Everybody in her room worked hard until she was stabilised. Antony and I were with her the whole time and although it was very difficult to watch I felt comforted by the fact she could hear our voices and feel us holding her hand and trying to offer her some comfort.”
Sarah added: “The next day everyone was sharing photos of their child’s first day back at school which is what I should have been doing. Erin should have been enjoying her first day of year 1 at primary school not lying in bed in ICU on a ventilator.
“Since then she has improved massively and things are on the up. We got the results of her day 14 blood tests and Erin’s blood still contains Car T Cells and no B cells or any trace of leukaemia cells which is fantastic news. They totally expect this to be the same with her bone marrow test next week so it’s the best news we can receive at this moment in time.
“She’s been playing lots with her art and craft and her iPad. She is also having lots of fun with the therapy team who are helping to get her back to full strength.
“I still can’t believe our little girl has leukaemia despite being diagnosed four years ago. Her body is exhausted now after that four years of fighting and her immune system is wiped out making it very challenging for her to go through treatment to try and cure her. I just don’t know why Erin’s life has to be so hard. No child deserves a life like this.”