Raising vital funds for life saving research.
Adam Hassall – Chris, Adam’s father tells his story.
Adam, “Ads” (as we often called him) real passions were taekwondo, martial arts, cycling, fishing, spending time with family and with me watching Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.
It was early May 2014, Adam was 16 and about to start his first GCSE exams. He said, “Dad, my knee & leg hurt a bit”. We didn’t think anything of it, just hoped it wouldn’t distract him at such an important time during the exams. He continued to complain for the next 4-5 weeks, sometimes coming home early from taekwondo if the pain troubled him.
Early June, Kerry his mother took him to the doctor and the typical response, “Might be a sports injury, strain. Rest it. Take some paracetamol tablets, if necessary”. We went for an x-ray. Nothing changed really. Adam fell off his bike which didn’t help. The x-ray was clear. The end of the exams were looming & we had promised to take Adam to watch the first day of the “Tour de France” in Yorkshire. Driving up we had to stop a few times.Adam was struggling with the pain in his leg/knee. This was unusual because it normally only bothered him at night. Next day he walked around the Dales absolutely fine, excited at the prospect of seeing his “Team Sky” cycling heros.
Second time, early July 2014, I took him to the doctor. She agreed to arrange a referral but was really more interested in Adam’s vaccination history despite the knee starting to look swollen. We had a holiday at the end of July booked. The holiday made us realise how Adam was looking thin, tired and the swelling on the knee was increasing.
Back home, no progress with the referral.It was likely to be weeks, even months before we got a date with a specialist. Unhappy with the delay we arranged an appointment at a private hospital with an orthopaedic consultant. He took an x-ray, we waited, he called us back in, showed us the image and pointed to, in his words, “something sinister”.It was getting late but the staff stayed on to do an MRI. All of our worst fears were confirmed – osteosarcoma. At that time it meant little, we hadn’t heard of it but after a late night of research we understood how serious this was.
Next day back to the hospital and the “roller coaster" began – scans, biopsies, blood tests, chemotherapy for the next 2 months. By early November an initial plan for limb salvage surgery was thwarted and we learnt that an amputation was the only option. Strangely, Adam didn’t seem too phased and set about researching prosthetic limbs for cycling. He recovered well from the surgery, enjoyed Christmas and by late January was being fitted for his first prosthetic. More chemo, scans, tests & when the chemo finished in April, radiotherapy.
Adam’s osteosarcoma was particularly aggressive & sadly he left us on 19th July 2015.
During that year we met and made friends with some wonderful people – other patients in the cancer centre, their parents & the medical staff, district nurses and hospice workers. Happily some have pulled through but others have been less fortunate. Since Adam was diagnosed we have been committed to supporting BCRT, fundraising research “until there’s a cure” and to improve the outcome for others.
Everyone that met Adam during that time commented on his bravery, spirit, attitude and determination. We are so proud of him.
Text BCRT ADS to 70800 to donate £5
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