BRAVE schoolboy Jordan Giddins is on the mend after suffering from a rare form of blood disease that affects one in every million.
It took doctors more than eight weeks to diagnose the 12-year-old from Flint with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) which left him in intensive care before starting a 10-month course of chemotherapy.
The Flint High School pupil is now back in full-time education after a year off school and has just resumed training with his football team, Shotton Steel.
Mum Mandy Giddins, a specialist urology nurse at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, said: “This time last year he couldn’t walk. He is really pleased to get back to playing football, he didn’t think he would be able to get back to playing.”
Jordan, who at one point was taking up to 40 tablets a day, all with side affects, fell ill towards the end of 2009 when he was just 11.
“It started off with a virus and then a rash and after two weeks he started getting worse,” said Mandy.
“All his joints seized up and he couldn’t lift a cup to his mouth. They transferred him to Alder Hey (Children’s Hospital, Liverpool) where they thought it was an arthritis type disease.
“His heart was enlarged and he started fitting and he was put in intensive care.
“When it was diagnosed it was a shock. Even as a nurse I had never heard of it.
They transferred him straight away to the oncology department to start chemotherapy.
“HLH can be fatal within eight weeks. We were very lucky they were treating him for something else so it didn’t take hold.”
Jordan’s dad Paul, 44, works at Airbus in Broughton and sister Bethany, 15, took her last GCSE last week.
Mandy said: “It was very difficult, nobody knew what it was. It was an awful year for the family.
“Bethany has had a rough year. It tears the family apart when you are spending all your time in hospital.”
Tomorrow, Mandy and 14 friends will be holding a 10-mile charity walk from Prestatyn to Rhyl to raise money for Alder Hey Hospital and cancer charity CLIC Sargent.
Mandy said: “They are both really worthy causes and we want to raise as much money as possible. All our friends and family have been wonderful as well.”
Manchester City supporter Jordan has been in remission from the disease since September.
“His life has been given back to him,” said Mandy.
“He has been so brave. He has been marvellous. Some days he felt he didn’t want to carry on because he felt so bad but he likes all kinds of sport, rugby, and cricket.
“That is what has kept him going.
“It has been hard for his friends because his appearance has changed so much. It was hard for them to see him after he lost his hair.”
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