Finley's Story

When Finley was 2, he suddenly became unwell. After 12 days of feeling under the weather, his family made their way to the Sick Kids where, within 2 hours, he was diagnosed with Leukaemia.

Mum Caroline says: “From that moment, the hospital became our second home. Nine months into his chemotherapy, Finley started losing the ability to walk, talk, use his arms, swallow. His body was shutting down. Nobody seemed to know what was happening to our boy. We were told to prepare for the worst. 

By luck, a consultant suggested a treatment which stopped whatever was infecting him in its tracks. But the damage was already done. On top of his cancer treatment, Finley had to learn to do everything again. He’s getting there but has been left with permanent damage and is no longer able to walk independently

His body was shutting down. Nobody seemed to know what was happening to our boy. We were told to prepare for the worst. 

- Caroline, Finley's mum

“As well as the physical impact, he has also lost a large part of his childhood. He has missed a full year of nursery and hasn’t been able to do things he enjoys like swimming, softplay and going to parks for risk of infection.  Finley’s older brothers had to adapt very quickly – the normal family life that they knew was taken away. 

“Birthdays, family occasions, holidays were missed. Plans could never be made as they could change instantly. If Finley became unwell, we had to be in hospital within the hour.  For 3 and a half years, our lives had to be put on hold. 

“Staying in hospital with a child is hard under any circumstances, but when you spend long periods of time there and sometimes in isolation, trying to keep them occupied is difficultWe were lucky enough to join in the arts and crafts, storytelling, magicians and entertainers all provided by the ECHC. It gave us as parents a welcome distraction and allowed Finley to play as children should. 

“It was for this reason, that I decided to try and give something back to ECHC. I wanted other families to have the same much-needed help that we were given and its not until you are in that position that you see how invaluable it actually is. 

“In February 2021, Finley finally got to ring the end of treatment bell. He’s now living his best 7 year old life, making lots of new friends and we’ve even got a very exciting holiday planned.

“Family life has found a new normal – it’ll never be what it was and as parents the fear of relapse will never leave us, but we will keep going and live for the moment.”

With your help, ECHC can be there for every child like Finley from the moment they begin their hospital journey. Whether it’s a magician visit, distraction during a procedure, or time to decompress before an operation, we work hard to make time spent in hospital better. If you can, please donate today.