Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

How Boro-Mad Sam Beat the Odds to Prove He Really Is a Winner

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

How Boro-Mad Sam Beat the Odds to Prove He Really Is a Winner

Article excerpt

Byline: Laura Love Reporter laura.love@trinitymirror.com

SEEING their brave son playing football with his brothers is something Tracy and Karl Duffield feared would never happen again.

Eleven-year-old Sam has battled through numerous health problems in his short life - more than any child should ever go through.

The youngster was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a cancer on the spine, in October 2005 at the age of just 13 months.

At best he was given just a 20% chance of survival, but following chemotherapy and radiotherapy he defied the odds.

However, his ordeal left him with walking difficulties and without a bladder or bowel, meaning he faced reconstructive surgery.

More recently, the Guisborough lad has come back from the brink after suffering complications following what was a planned operation on his bladder.

In April this year the St Paulinus RC Primary School pupil went to the RVI in Newcastle for a bladder ileocystoplasty and urinary sphincter to make his bladder bigger and tighter.

But after eight days, things took a turn for the worse when Sam's bowel stopped working - something his family was not prepared for.

As a result he had to stay in the hospital for more than 10 weeks, during which he endured emergency surgeries, and had spells in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and on a ventilator.

He also had to be fed intravenously because he had become malnourished and eventually required daily physiotherapy to get him back on his feet.

"He was such a sick child," said Tracy, 37, who is married to Karl, 43, and is also mum to Daniel, 13, and seven-year-old Joe.

"We thought we were going to lose him a few times.

"But luckily we have come out the other side - something we weren't sure was going to happen."

"It was a waiting game to see if his bowel would start working again," she added. …

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