A 15-year-old boy with leukemia, who everyone thought may never walk again after cancer attacked his spinal cord, has defied the odds.
“The first time I saw him standing unaided I felt so emotional,” Emma, from Scotland, told The Epoch Times by email. “I felt such immense pride, and even though it was only for seconds, it was something I never thought I would see him do again.
“I play the video of it over and over, and cry every time I watch it.”
Aidan, who lives in the Scottish town of Musselburgh, East Lothian, with his family, was diagnosed with leukemia on March 4, 2021.
After suffering a sore back for about a week, his legs went numb. His parents, Emma, 40, and Craig, 43, took him to the hospital.
The news was shocking and severe.
“They told us, following blood tests and an MRI, that he had acute myeloid leukemia (AML),” said Emma. “They said leukemia had attacked his spinal cord and said he may never walk again.”
(Courtesy of Emma Davidson)
Aidan’s spine was already badly damaged. Doctors didn’t know whether the nerves would ever recover.
“It was the worst day of my life, to be told Aidan may never walk again was devastating,” said Emma, who works as a florist and is a mom to six children.
Aidan was happy and healthy before his diagnosis, she said. However, learning that he likely wouldn’t walk again felt like a “double blow” on top of his leukemia diagnosis.
Emma and Craig broke the news to Aidan’s five siblings: sisters Jamie, 23, and Nicole, 17, and brothers Ryan, 20, Keegan, 10, and Robbie, 2. The family held one another and cried.
Aidan was admitted to the hospital that same day.
The MRI found a mass of congealed cancerous blood on Aidan’s spine that had been causing his back and leg pain. Emma said Aidan’s team believed the cancer was treatable and curable and prescribed four rounds of chemotherapy over a six-month period, blood and platelet transfusions, and lumbar punctures to get the chemotherapy into his spinal fluid.
“I have felt so worried and scared most days and there have been days I’ve just laid in bed and cried, asking why this had to happen to my child,” said Emma. “I’ve tried to be strong for him, but it’s horrible to watch your child suffer so much and feel so helpless.”
Yet messages, cards, gifts, and fundraising efforts flooded in from far and wide, providing immense support to the grateful family. Above all else, Emma credits her happy, caring son’s optimism for getting them through the hardest time of their lives.
“He’s a joker and always has something funny to say,” she said. “He has been the same all the way through his treatment. He’s always making the nurses laugh and is a joy to be around.”
With four rounds of radiotherapy down and chemotherapy treatments yet to attend, Aidan remains at the hospital as his home isn’t yet equipped for his wheelchair. Emma said that, after his treatment is finished, he will move to another ward to receive intense physiotherapy on his spine.
The family says they are trying their best to focus on the good things Aidan has achieved and to stay happy as much as they can.
While being away from friends and adapting to his wheelchair remain hard for Aidan, the stoic teen’s mom claims a simple mantra gets him through.
“He has said from the start that one day he will walk again,” she said. “He has always said, ‘One day at a time.'”