Exmouth cancer sufferer starts treatment

A YOUNG Withycombe boy has started to receive special medical treatment which is hoped will enable him to beat off cancer for the second time in his life.

Twelve-year-old Raymond O’Sullivan, of Green Close, is currently in Amsterdam receiving Brachytherapy, a form of radiotherapy, in an attempt to overcome the illness, called orbital rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer of the eye.

His mum, Vanessa, and dad, Leo, jetted off with the youngster to Holland shortly after Christmas to meet doctors to discuss his next programme of treatment where she was advised he needed the therapy sooner rather than later.

They travelled back to England before returning to Holland in the New Year for Raymond to start the care.

Raymond had a six hour operation at the Amsterdam hospital where medics removed the cancerous eye, orbit, muscle and surrounding tissues.

He then started a cycle of 20 minutes Brachytherapy treatment every two hours round the clock for around three days.

The Exmouth Community College pupil won a previous battle against orbital rhabdomyosarcoma after he was first diagnosed in 2001.

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When the cancer returned, surprised doctors told Vanessa it was incredibly rare for the condition to return.

“Even now that he has had his eye removed, there is still no guarantees the cancer won’t return,” Vanessa said.

“We are hopeful, though, that he can recover as we have to stay strong for his sake.”

To lift his spirit, Raymond received a special Christmas present from Irish musician Gilbert O’Sullivan.

The singer-songwriter, originally called Raymond, sent a CD, a hat and two signed T-shirts.

Vanessa said her son had been trying to enjoy the Christmas and New Year period despite the circumstances.

“He managed to find a couple of English films on his hospital ward to watch – one of which was Ice Age.”

She added: “He loved both his Christmas and New Year dinners but it is hard for him at the moment.”

The Journal handed �6500 over from its Raymond O’Sullivan fundraising account to his family to pay for flights and hotel bills.

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