Aged four in 2012, Fraser Watkins had just started school but he spent his first term with a constant cold. Over the Christmas period his neck became very swollen and a biopsy revealed that he was suffering from T Cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Fraser’s family were told he’d be supported by the children’s team at ellenor. “ellenor was described as a hospice – which was frightening,” says Fiona, Fraser’s Mum. “But, when I began to understand more about the services and support they provide, I felt reassured.” Fraser required bloods taken once a week and sometimes IV chemo four times in a week but, with ellenor, this could be done at home.
To make life a little easier for the family, an ellenor nurse would visit the family at 8.15am, so Fraser wouldn’t miss school. Living in Crayford though, getting around during the rush hour can be difficult. On those days, a nurse would meet Fraser at school, meaning he wasn’t late to class or too disturbed.”.
Fraser has an older brother, Ewan – so keeping the family together as much as possible, was important. ellenor made sure that Ewan had a voice – offering him sessions of play therapy to enable him to share how he was feeling about Fraser’s illness.
--Fiona, Fraser's Mum
Fraser’s treatment began in January 2013 and finished in May 2016, which is a relief to the family. Fiona says that during this difficult time, it’s given her peace-of-mind that ellenor nurses are on call 24 hours a day. “I’ve never had to make emergency phone calls out of hours, but it’s reassuring to know there’s always somebody there,” says Fiona. “I’ve called a few times for advice and that’s saved us a few hospital trips.”