Musician sends morale-boosting gifts to Withycombe cancer sufferer

SINGER-songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan has sent a number of morale-boosting presents to a Withycombe cancer sufferer.

The Irish musician, best known for his 1970s hits of Alone Again and Get Down, sent a CD, special hat and two signed T-shirts to Raymond O’Sullivan, of Green Close, who is currently receiving vital radiotherapy treatment.

Gilbert, originally called Raymond, heard about the youngster’s plight last year and decided to send gifts in a bid to boost his spirits.

As reported in last week’s Journal, The Exmouth Community College pupil, who suffers from orbital rhabdomyosarcoma, is currently at a hospital in Amsterdam, where he had a cancerous eye removed as part of a lengthy programme of treatment.

Vanessa Evens, the 12-year-old’s mum, said: “He loves the gifts and can’t believe such a famous musician shares the same name as him.”

At the start of the New Year, Raymond had a six hour operation where medics took out an eye, muscle and surrounding tissues.

He then started a cycle last week of 20 minutes brachytherapy, a form of radiotherapy, which was repeated every two hours round the clock for around three days.

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It is the second time in his life that he has suffered from the same kind of cancer.

Vanessa said: “The doctors are fairly confident that they got all the cancer out which is good.”

Raymond’s mum explained that medics are looking at ways to fill the gap left by his vacant eye socket which included the possibility of him having a false eye or patch.

But she said: “He is being quite self conscious at the moment. We’ve had lots of tears from him because he thinks he could get bullied for the way he looks.”

Vanessa hopes Raymond will be able to return to England next week after he has recovered from his treatment.

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