Patient Story: Henry

The first few days, weeks and months after parents bring their newborn home are filled with big emotions – often joy, excitement and happiness. But for Julie and Ryan, those first few weeks and months after their son Henry was born were full of shock, sadness, and anxiety.

Henry was born with cephalohematoma, blood between his scalp and skull, which became infected with E. coli. On Christmas Eve and in critical condition, he was airlifted from Health Sciences North (HSN) to SickKids Hospital in Toronto for treatment. While being treated, he received an MRI and a shocking discovery: he has a brain tumor.

With his family devastated by the news but thankful for the early diagnosis, Henry began chemotherapy treatment at the Shirley and Jim Fielding Northeast Cancer Centre in Sudbury to shrink the size of the tumor. Being so young, this treatment was especially hard on him and he was frequently hospitalized in the NEO Kids and Family Program at HSN.

“We were scared of what life might look like for him with this diagnosis and what it could look like for us without him,” said Julie, Henry’s mom. “We feel fortunate to have the support of our family beside us and a team of nurses and doctors who do everything in their power to comfort and care for Henry.”

Now, four years after his diagnosis, Henry is energetic and playful just like any other five-year-old. He is in a stable condition and recently celebrated his fourth year chemo-free. The tumour affects his vision but that does not slow him down from doing the things he loves: hockey, soccer, and swimming.

Henry continues to receive follow-up appointments and MRIs to monitor the state of his tumor. With the help of the new, advanced MRI technology and the expertise of the oncology and pediatric teams at HSN, Henry can spend more time at home with his family and friends instead of traveling to Southern Ontario for treatment.

“Community support is essential to healthcare excellence at HSN. We are grateful to have advanced MRI technology and expert oncology and pediatric teams to better treat and support our patients and their families. We have our donors to thank for leading the way to providing exceptional care, right here in Northeastern Ontario.” Dr. Mélanie Breau, Pediatrician at HSN.

Grateful for the care Henry received and continues to receive, his family believes that with the growth of our healthcare programs at HSN and in Northeastern Ontario, patients can receive the specialized care they need, closer to home.

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