George Harrison shares his story of how Sheffield Children's Hospital saved his life
My name is George Harrison. I’m fourteen years old and I live in Doncaster with my mum, dad and brothers. In March 2018 I started to feel poorly, I went to the doctors and before I knew it, I was in an ambulance to Sheffield Children’s Hospital and admitted to Intensive Care.
We all went out for tea on Mother’s Day and I started to feel really sick. We thought it was food poisoning but after a couple of days I didn’t feel any better and my stomach became really swollen. I was rushed to theatre for a biopsy the next day.
It was scary as I had to be put into an induced coma because I had a tumour that was so big it was crushing my organs.
After surgery, I had every machine possible attached to me, I had a stomach drain and I was on dialysis too. There were three nurses with me the whole time and my parents were told the next 48 hours were critical and there was a 50/50 chance that I would make it. I was in intensive care for a week and slowly my tumour started to shrink.
Dr Dan took my mum and dad into a room and said that I had an aggressive form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. Apparently there are only around 70 other children like me who get diagnosed with it every year.
I had to have chemotherapy for months which meant that I was sick a lot of the time, I lost all of my hair and felt really tired. Between March and September I only came home for a few days. I lived on the Cancer Ward. Some weeks I had to have chemotherapy for 18 hours a day for 6 days. I was only five stone by the time the chemotherapy had finished. I had to learn to eat and walk again.
The staff at the hospital on the Cancer Ward were amazing, they helped me through everything and explained what was happening. My mum didn’t leave my side, she stayed with me through it all and slept on a camp bed.
There was one time we had to come in for treatment after I caught an infection and the Cancer Ward was too busy, so we stayed in the new part of the hospital. It was so modern and bright, we had our own bathroom and Mum had somewhere proper to sleep.
After months of treatment, I finally entered remission in October 2018 and rang the ward bell to celebrate. It was really special for me and my family and Dr Dan came too.
Whilst I was still having treatment my brother, Roger, set up a fundraising page to say thank you to the hospital for everything they were doing for me. Thanks to donations from our friends and family we raised over £5,000 but they didn’t stop there. My mum asked everyone we know to sign-up for Theo’s Obstacle 5K and there were a team of over thirty of my friends and family who took part. They called themselves “Harrison’s Heroes”. I couldn’t go to the event as on the day I was too poorly but they sent me videos the whole way round. In total we raised over £10,000 for my ward.
I’m now back at school, playing sports and spending time with family and we were even able to go on a family holiday to Tenerife recently.
As a family we can’t thank the staff at the hospital enough. They saved my life. Now, we need to give them the best facilities on the Cancer Ward to help more kids like me.
The Children’s Hospital Charity asked me to share my story to encourage people like you to think about supporting the charity this year to help raise lots of money for their appeal.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story and thank you for supporting the hospital.
George, 14 years old