Date of release: 20 October 2021
A brave six-year-old boy who has spent over half his life battling leukaemia has finally ‘rung the bell’ to signal the end of his cancer journey.
Aaron Parmar, from Sedgley, had daily chemotherapy for over three years – 1,187 days – and was so poorly he was admitted to hospital 27 times after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at the age of two, but has now made a full recovery.
“We’re so relieved that Aaron has been able to ring the bell – it was very emotional after such a long time,” said Aaron’s dad Parminder Singh. “When your child is suffering, it’s horrible for a parent and very difficult.”
Parminder was also delighted with the care Aaron received in his treatment on his long road to recovery.
“The care and support he has received at New Cross Hospital and at Birmingham Children’s Hospital is excellent – beyond words,” he added.
Parminder and Aaron’s mum Rajdeep Kaur first thought there was something wrong with their son when he was limping so they took him to their GP only to be told it was normal.
When the limping got worse, the GP referred Aaron to Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, but an x-ray scan came back clear and they were told to wait for MRI scan on December 12th 2017.
However, because of their son’s deteriorating health, they again visited Russells Hall on December 7th. A blood sample revealed symptoms of leukaemia and Aaron was immediately rushed to Birmingham Children’s Hospital (BCH).
At BCH, he underwent a lumbar puncture (a test where a needle is inserted into the spinal canal to collect fluid) and following this it was confirmed that Aaron had leukaemia.
Accompanied by mum Rajdeep, 37, the whole time – she gave up her job as a care worker to be with him 24-7 – Aaron then spent two months in BCH, having chemotherapy and other medication, until February 4th, 2018.
Parminder, 45, a bank worker, said: “Initially the treatment was very intensive and there were lots of complications. Aaron starting losing his hair and losing weight and couldn’t go to the toilet, which is another side effect.
“Aaron’s stomach swelled so full of fluid that the skin burst. He had to have a tube inserted in his chest for chemotherapy medication which is called Hickman line and a tube into his nose to enable him to be fed directly into his stomach.”
Eventually, Aaron was allowed to leave hospital, but he remained vulnerable because his immune system was now so low and he suffered lots of infections which meant he was regularly re-admitted to hospital, sometimes spending two to three days at a time there as an inpatient.
As well as his daily chemotherapy in the form of medicine, Aaron had to have steroids once a month for seven days at a time and undergo monthly check-ups at New Cross Hospital and to BCH where he had lumbar punctures every three months.
The family then took up the offer for Aaron to continue his treatment at New Cross Hospital because of the closer proximity to home, and he was put under the care of Dr Julie Brent, Consultant.
Thankfully, after over three years of daily chemotherapy – a drug called mercaptopurine and other oral chemotherapy drugs – Aaron had his final dose on March 13, 2021, and had his last lumbar puncture at BCH on February 16th 2021, although he still attends New Cross Hospital for routine check-ups.
Along with Aaron beating leukaemia, another positive to come out of the episode was his sister Surveen, now 13, passed her exams to attend Wolverhampton Girls High School.
“Surveen and I used to go and visit Aaron in hospital at weekends and she would have her books laid out on his bed studying,” revealed Parminder. “Despite this, she managed to pass her exams and get in.”
Parminder and Rajdeep said: “We are filled with gratitude towards all the healthcare staff including Aaron’s consultant and all the doctors, nurses and support staff who have helped the family to navigate the difficult part of this journey. We are especially thankful to Dr Mark Velangi and his team at Birmingham Children Hospital and Dr Julie Brent and her team at New Cross Hospital for providing expectational care for Aaron.”
Aaron’s parents are also grateful to Young Lives vs Cancer, formerly Clic Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children, who provided a £170 donation to the family when he was diagnosed and signposted them to other forms of support, all of which helped at a time when Rajdeep was unable to work.
Notes to Editor
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