Daniel’s Story

I have begun a new category on the blog. It is the story of  Daniel, or as he was better known on this blog, ‘The young warrior’. You can check it out in the category on my header ‘Daniels story’.  Today as I went back over my posts on Daniel, I was amazed to read so many written with him in mind. I was even more taken aback to discover how many I had posted relating to grief. So in order to address that I have also added a tab on the menu entitled Journeying through grief.

photo credit: searching4jphotography via photopin cc

For those of you who are new readers here is a brief outline of Daniels story.

Daniel was twelve years old. He was a young, vibrant, sports mad Irish boy. The third in a family of four. In October 2012 he began to say he felt tired. We all came up with excuses for him. He’s growing. He’s just started secondary school. He’s doing an awful lot of sport.

Then one day his mother got a phone call at work. Daniel was to be admitted to hospital. As she left work that day she could never for a moment have imagined that it would be over twelve months before she would return, and that for her life was changing forever.

Daniel was quickly diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Within twenty four hours of diagnosis he was on his way to Dublin. Hand in hand  Daniel and his Mom and Dad walked that most dreaded of walks, down the corridor of St Johns Ward, to a world the rest of us have nightmares about.

Daniel was a very unlucky young boy. ALL is the most common and treatable of all leukemias. The statistics tell us that 85% of children are cured.  Daniels ALL  was a bit more complicated than the usual and his only hope was a bone marrow transplant. None of his siblings matched but after a worrying few weeks a perfect match was found in the USA. We were all able to hope. Again the numbers were good.

Daniel travelled to Dublin July 2013.  The transplant was a great success. However very shortly after transplant Daniel got a virus which is very difficult to treat. So many put in huge efforts to save him. Throughout it all this young boy dug deep and kept on fighting, his mom, Dad and family by his side. For almost five months he battled, but it was not to be.

Daniel was at last granted his greatest wish, to come home. And he did so  on November 27th. Two days later, November 29th, surrounded by those who loved him, he left for a new adventure.photo credit: Neal. via photopin cc

Throughout last year I continued to blog. Initially I tried to keep Dan out of my posts, to ignore in my writing what was filling my every waking moment. However I couldn’t continue. Slowly Daniel crept into my posts and continues to do so today.

The category ‘Daniels story’ covers all the posts I wrote, while thinking of Daniel, during his illness, and those I have written since we lost him.

I was stunned today to discover just how many of those posts there are. However thinking back on that dreadful time, and the many lonely days since, I can understand the number.

If you are reading this and have a child who is ill I urge you to do the maths. Daniel should have survived. He was just one very very unlucky young boy. Many of those who were on St Johns Ward with Daniel have successfully finished treatment and many more who were treated years ago continue to enjoy good health.

A fellow blogger called Office mum recently wrote in a comment on my blog, “ I think it’s lovely that you keep Dan’s memory alive in your posts”. As everyone struggles to live in a world without him, I am only too happy to remember him here every day on my blog.

For all of you who have read these posts as I wrote them, I thank you for your support and encouragement. It really has made all the difference.

photo credit: searching4jphotography via photopin cc

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21 thoughts on “Daniel’s Story

  1. Reading this moves me to tears, even though I’ve read all your previous posts. As you know, I have lived such a very similar experience with my daughter, and writing about it has been one of the most healing things I’ve found. I appreciate reading yours, though some are very difficult, it is a beautiful way of honoring Daniel and his family left behind. Thank you for sharing all your stories about Daniel. I love knowing about him.

    1. Thanks Lucia. As you well know you have been a tremendous help to me over the past months.
      No matter how sad I will ever feel I will never understand what my friend and Dans Dad and family are going through.
      Through you I have got an insight into their pain and as a result have had a better understanding of what they are going through.
      Elizabeth was an extraordinary individual, which your writing has allowed us who read your blog to see..

  2. Thank you for all you have put into beautiful words about Daniel. Everyday I remember something or miss something of him..
    Today marked a very special memory for me and Daniel… This day last year Daniel and his aunt face timed me form his isolated bedroom in Crumlin ..He was so excited. The doctors were around and told him how happy they were with his bone marrow transplant and when they were back after the bank holiday they would be talking about Dan going home soon…
    But then the virus set in…. And Daniels troubles began ..
    Thanks Tric x

    1. There is a fine line between sharing and over sharing all that happened so I’m delighted you are okay with it.
      Every time I write about Daniel I realise and know that compared to you and the others I knew Dan a wet week. But I do feel your pain hugely, so many times in every day, and I feel so angry still that Dan got such a raw deal.
      It was so hard today going through all these old posts and reliving the year, but I have to say it is nice to have him here on the blog.
      Even though it’s pox, it’s nice you have a few pleasant memories of that time because they were so very rare.
      I have no doubt he is not gone too far from you, and is causing as much havoc as possible where ever he is. xxxx

  3. Grief shared is grief comforted. When I shared how I felt about losing my mom, it lessened the impact. Sharing how we feel and about the person brings healing. Reading what someone shares in their journey of grief brings a fellowship of suffering to us and in a strange way, it heals. Thank you for posting about Daniel.

    1. Thank you so much for reading. I totally agree sharing grief doesn’t ease the loss but definitely helps.
      I am sorry about your mom, and all your losses. Christmas can be a lonely time, but also a wonderful time. This was the second Christmas Daniel missed, but no one would want him here suffering so for that we are grateful. But still sad.
      Thanks again for reading,and commenting. I really appreciate it.

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