Hope dwindled for Julie and Paul Devigne as a treatment-resistant tumour of their child’s stomach swelled so massive it restricted his capacity to eat, sleep and breathe.
Then, in a surgical feat, docs at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Kids gave little Felix one other shot at life, say the Winnipeg dad and mom.
Throughout a greater than six-hour-long process, a cross-disciplinary workforce of eight medical staff eliminated the 1.3 kilogram mass — practically three kilos — from the toddler’s physique, defying some consultants’ opinions that the tumour was inoperable.
“It’s totally onerous to place into phrases the gratitude that we have now,” stated Paul. The household desires to offer anybody in the same scenario “a glimmer of hope”
The Devignes had their first youngster on July 16, 2020. And except for the peculiarities of elevating a new child throughout a pandemic, they stated Felix appeared to be coming alongside simply tremendous.
However at round 4 months outdated, Felix turned crankier than typical, stated Julie. He wasn’t sleeping properly, and finally, would not let his dad and mom put him down.
Felix spent months in hospital present process chemotherapy. However the tumour continued to develop till it crammed most of his belly cavity, displacing a number of important organs, together with his kidneys, liver and bowel. (Provided by the Devigne household)
Julie took him to the emergency room at Winnipeg’s Well being Sciences Centre to see if he had a urinary tract an infection.
After a battery of checks, docs advised her Felix had a tumour in his stomach. He was later recognized with rhabdomyosarcoma, a sort of soppy tissue most cancers that largely impacts youngsters.
‘This cannot be occurring’
“It was like I used to be in a film,” Julie stated. “This cannot be occurring to us.”
Felix spent months in hospital present process chemotherapy. However the tumour continued to develop till it crammed most of his belly cavity, displacing a number of important organs, together with his kidneys, liver and bowel. The stress from the mass additionally impeded his lungs.
“We had been beginning to run out of choices and hope,” stated Paul Devigne. “It was most likely the worst time of our lives.”
The Winnipeg oncologists treating Felix began reaching out to medical services with the experience wanted to take away the tumour.
When Felix’s file discovered its solution to Dr. Blayne Amir Sayed at SickKids. The surgeon, who’s the hospital’s surgical lead for pediactric liver transplantation was bowled over to see such a big tumour in such a small youngster.
“We actually do not see [tumours] like this fairly often in youngsters Felix’s age, at such an enormous dimension and speedy progress,” he stated.
“This may be one thing you’d examine in a case report within the medical literature each 10 to twenty years.”
The Devigne household from Winnipeg, together with child Felix, who’s recovering after surgical procedure to take away a uncommon type of tumour. (Provided by the Devigne household)
Sayed stated he consulted with friends throughout North America and a few stated they would not try surgical procedure.
However Sayed stated he and his colleagues at SickKids — skilled in advanced pediatric circumstances — determined it was price a shot.
Tumour was 15% of child’s physique weight
The tumour was roughly 15 per cent of Felix’s physique weight. It will take painstaking precision to take away it with out damaging any organs or veins, stated Sayed. Medical doctors additionally suspected that the urinary tract, which is the place the tumour arose, would require vital reconstruction.
Sayed stated the tumour had additionally given rise to an intricate “vascular internet” that meant one flawed incision may end in main blood loss.
The tumour was obstructing Felix’s vena cava, a big vein that carries blood again to the guts. Sayed stated this resulted in a circulatory “visitors jam,” with blood be rerouted by small vessels that grow to be more and more engorged.
Furthermore, the tumour had “parasitized,” which meant it was stealing blood provide from close by tissues to help its speedy progress.
“This was actually a sort of meticulous dissection,” he stated. “There are vital dangers, and people embody loss of life.”
The placement of Felix’s tumour, in comparison with his different organs. (Provided by SickKids)
On the morning of Feb. 4, the Devignes despatched six-month-old Felix into the working room and tried not to consider the worst outcomes.
“It was very onerous saying goodbye to him, as a result of we weren’t certain what was going to occur,” his mom stated.
Hours later, a nurse referred to as to say surgeons had take away all the tumour. The Devignes cried “blissful tears of pleasure.”
Sayed stated he feels optimistic concerning the long-term prognosis.
“For the quantity of surgical procedure that he went by, he did terrific,” stated Sayed, including that docs can have monitor for potential indicators of recurrence.
Now again house in Winnipeg, Paul stated he is adjusting to a slower tempo of life after spending so many months in “survival mode.”
Julie stated Felix has some catching as much as do when it comes to growth, however he is making good points by the day. Earlier this week, he rolled onto his abdomen for the primary time, and now he will not cease.
The Devignes stated they owe a debt of gratitude to the entire health-workers who by no means gave up on Felix.
“It was just about giving him one other likelihood of hopefully residing a superb life,” Julie stated.