“Aidan asked if he was going to die. It was heartbreaking.”
At 15, Aidan was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. He was immediately admitted to Edinburgh’s children’s hospital to begin chemotherapy.
Mum Emma says: “We were shocked and absolutely devastated. The doctors explained that it was treatable, but the damage caused to the nerves in his spinal cord meant Aidan may never walk again. Our strong, rugby-playing son was not only fighting for his life but also for the use of his legs.
“Aidan was determined to give 100% to his recovery. He spent the first few weeks in the old Sick Kids before being transferred by ambulance to the new hospital. This was a very anxious time as everything was new and unknown, but ECHC produced a video of the ambulance journey there, so we knew what to expect. Aidan loved this.
Emma, Aidan's mum
“On his arrival, he was greeted with cheers and clapping from the NHS staff and a swarm of red ECHC t-shirts. It was such a wonderful welcome!
“Aidan was in hospital for a full seven months without a day at home and continues to spend weekdays having physiotherapy.
“The chemotherapy and physio have been intense but the amazing NHS staff and the charity have provided so much support and lots of activities to keep him motivated and upbeat.
“He has loved visiting the ECHC Hub, spending time with the team and having fun in the garden. As a parent, I am so thankful for this space as it’s a safe haven away from the ward to just sit, take a deep breath and have a cuppa. The outside courtyards have also been a sanctuary for us, giving us a little bit of normality.
“The staff, from the consultants to the nurses, OT, physios, support staff, TCT worker and play workers have all been amazing to Aidan, myself and our family.
“They go above and beyond to make sure we are as happy as we can be. Nothing is ever too much trouble, even a cup of tea at 2am when I couldn’t sleep. They go out of their way to lift all our spirits and we think the world of them all.
“Aidan is now in remission. He is still in a wheelchair but he can manage a few steps with a walking aid. His goal was to walk again so it’s just incredible that he has now achieved this. I am so very proud of everything he has accomplished and his determination inspires me every day.”