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‘A hundred times harder’ - Family dealing with toddler’s cancer treatment during coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 14:31 12 May 2020 | UPDATED: 14:31 12 May 2020

Peter Harman, 2, from Great Yarmouth, and his father David Harman. Peter is recovering from a bone marrow transplant at the Royal Hospital for Children in Bristol. Picture: Courtesy of Danielle Seaman.

Peter Harman, 2, from Great Yarmouth, and his father David Harman. Peter is recovering from a bone marrow transplant at the Royal Hospital for Children in Bristol. Picture: Courtesy of Danielle Seaman.

Archant

A family helping their two-year-old son recover from a bone marrow transplant has said that coronavirus has made the challenge one hundred times harder.

Peter Harman, 2, from Great Yarmouth, is recovering from a bone marrow transplant at the Royal Hospital for Children in Bristol. Picture: Courtesy of Danielle Seaman.Peter Harman, 2, from Great Yarmouth, is recovering from a bone marrow transplant at the Royal Hospital for Children in Bristol. Picture: Courtesy of Danielle Seaman.

Peter Harman, from Great Yarmouth, was diagnosed last December with acute myeloid leukaemia - a form of the disease his father, David, described as “aggressive”.

The toddler is currently in recovery at the Royal Hospital for Children in Bristol.

Mr Harman, 30, stays in a nearby hotel while Peter’s mother, Danielle Seaman, 25, stays with her son, 24/7, in the ward.

“We’re at the hospital more than we’re at home. We’re just trying to keep Peter as happy as possible,” Mr Harman said.

Peter Harman, 2, from Great Yarmouth, is recovering from a bone marrow transplant at the Royal Hospital for Children in Bristol. Picture: Courtesy of Danielle Seaman.Peter Harman, 2, from Great Yarmouth, is recovering from a bone marrow transplant at the Royal Hospital for Children in Bristol. Picture: Courtesy of Danielle Seaman.

The family will spend another two weeks at the hospital and then a further month in Bristol.

“There’s no support network here of family and friends,” Mr Harman said.

“Because we’re miles from home I can’t call my mum and ask her to bring some nappies, for example.

“It’s a hundred times harder with coronavirus. Just going to the shop to get Danielle and Peter bits and pieces they need I have to wrap up in gloves and a medical mask.”

Peter’s illness began last year with what doctors first thought was a viral infection.

But during a family dinner one Sunday he started vomiting and could not keep anything down.

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After taking Peter to the James Paget hospital, where his mother noticed three small spots on her son’s legs and his bloods were then tested, he was diagnosed with the cancer.

He was transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge where he was in intensive care for two weeks, before an intense six-month course of chemotherapy.

A further transfer took Peter and his parents to the hospital in Bristol, where Peter received a bone marrow transplant almost three weeks ago.

“Since then he has had good days and bad days. He’s been doing as much as he can, fighting like a good ‘un,” Mr Harman said.

He added: “Last year for us was a hard time for us as a family.

“In August I had to go on long-term sick leave because I have a cyst in my spine.”

To donate to the family, visit the Go Fund Me page here.


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