Little Jessica Holmes is a real battler.
And the parents of the brave youngster today told of their happiness after she overcame her biggest obstacle yet – miraculously fighting back from months of gruelling treatment for leukaemia and finally arriving back home. Jessica, two, was constantly catching colds, and in September was so poorly she was sleeping for 23 hours at a time.
Yet doctors initially diagnosed her illness as a cold.
Her worried parents, Mandy and Bob, took her to Royal Lancaster Infirmary, where they say she was given antibiotics for a bacterial infection.
But the following day Jessica’s GP arranged for her to go straight to the hospital’s children’s ward, where she was given a blood transfusion before doctors hastily arranged an emergency transfer to Manchester Children’s Hospital.
Her anxious parents were then given the devastating news their daughter had life-threatening leukaemia, and needed chemotherapy straight away.
“That was it, everything changed from then,” said Mandy, 40. Jessica was in hospital for over a month while doctors battled to treat the disease, and she was finally allowed home for Christmas.
She had weekly blood checks at Manchester, but for two months she appeared to be doing fine.
But in February she developed a series of lung infections which led to a collapsed lung. She was taken back to hospital and put into a coma. Her parents were told her organs were shutting down. Twice they were told she would not survive the night.
Yet, amazingly, she did. Against the odds, she fought back, astonishing medical professionals.
And while her treatment continues, she was finally allowed home, to Toulmin Close, Catterall, near Garstang.
Mandy said: “Twice when we were in hospital we were told Jessica might not make it. We were praying for a miracle, and it happened. We are in a dream world – our own little bubble. Jessica’s doing fine at the moment, and we’re just taking each day as it comes.”