Norfolk boy recovering after bone marrow transplant

PUBLISHED: 15:07 16 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:07 16 May 2018

Michael Holyland, front left, with brother Nathan and parents Karl and Laura. Pictures: supplied by Karen Gregory

Michael Holyland, front left, with brother Nathan and parents Karl and Laura. Pictures: supplied by Karen Gregory


A North Walsham boy with leukaemia is recovering after undergoing a bone marrow transplant at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

Michael Holyland. Pictures: supplied by Karen GregoryMichael Holyland. Pictures: supplied by Karen Gregory

Michael Holyland was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2013, but was told four years later he was in remission.

He returned to full-time education at Cromer Academy, but last November he was rushed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge where it was confirmed he had lost vision in one eye and the leukaemia was back.

He immediately started high dose chemotherapy treatment, with plans for full body irradiation, a form of radiotherapy, and a bone marrow transplant, which he had earlier this month. His brother, Nathan, who is just a year younger, was the donor.

His mother Laura, 37, from Ellinor Road, said: “He’s suffering quite badly now from an ulcerated gullet, which is painful. He’s not eating or drinking and is on a drip.

“He’s blind in his right eye. The doctors have told us he will be in hospital in Bristol for another six to 10 weeks. Hopefully, he will come back home then, but he will have to have regular check-ups at Addenbrooke’s. We are waiting for a miracle to happen, but Michael’s moving in the right direction. “He’s got Asperger’s and ADHD so he’s just entertaining himself playing computer games and Lego, as he’s quite happy to be on his own. “

She said the family was “gutted” when they found out the leukaemia had returned.

She added: “You go in to this kind of numb feeling. It’s a horrible existence but you have to focus on the positives. Michael and I talk about what we are going to do when we get out.”

Friend Karen Gregory set up a fundraising team called Michael’s Journey to help the family though this awful time.

She said: “The whole community has been fantastic in supporting Michael’s Journey. North Walsham High School is fundraising and we have a huge event coming up at the Lighthouse inn at Walcott on Saturday, June 2, 3pm until 7.30pm. We have children’s entertainer Robbie James, Aspire dance troupe, zumba, music, BBQ, bar, and stalls.”

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