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|A MUM'S MOVING MEMORIES OF DEVOTED SON||Scotland|
|Contamination level: Severe illness! Forced to abandon a home.|
|Author: Susan Robertson||Created: 14 Nov 2005||Updated: 14 Nov 2005||Viewed: 2854 time(s)|
|LITTLE Lewis Robertson lost his battle against cancer but lived long enough to hold the baby brother he yearned for.||This case file has 1 entry and no comments yet|
|Doting brotherly love as little Lewis was dying from rare cancer||Created: 14 Nov 2005|
|LEWIS CALLED ARTHUR ;MY BABY' AND WOULDN'T LET OTHER PEOPLE HOLD HIM
MUM'SM MOVING MEMORIES OF DEVOTED SON.
Doting brotherly love as he was dying from rare cancer
LITTLE Lewis Robertson lost his battle against cancer but lived long enough to hold the baby brother he yearned for.
He lovingly cradled newborn Arthur for hours on end over four weeks, keeping a protective eye on him and running for their mum when the baby cried
and could not be comforted.
But all the while, the two-year-old was battling a fiercely debilitating illness which he refused to give in to, despite being riddled with tumours.
Just a month after Lewis's mum told her overjoyed toddler that his dream was going to come true and he would be a big brother, he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma - which strikes just eight children in a million.
It affected his bowels and mobility but he amazed doctors and his family by refusing to let it dim his joy of life which soared when Arthur was born.
He doted on the new arrival.
Mum Susan said: "When I was pregnant we told him, 'It's your baby.' And he always called Arthur 'my baby'.
"He was brilliant with him.
He was so delighted to be a big brother.
"He was very protective.
He sat with Arthur for ages and wouldn't let anyone outside the family hold him."
But by then, nothing could protect Lewis from the cancer.
And as he ran around, excitedly busy with making sure little Arthur was looked after, his own health took a dramatic downturn.
The cancer affected his eyesight, then gave him breathing problems and a tumour on his spine started putting pressure on his brain.
Barely a month after welcoming Arthur to the world, the family were mourning Lewis - just eight months after his illness was diagnosed.
He was buried holding the toy digger he was clutching when he died.
Susan recalled yesterday: "Lewis was so excited about being a brother that it is some comfort to me that he got to meet Arthur before he died.
"I've already started telling Arthur about his brother.
He'll know all about him.
Lewis was such a brave laddie, he was a fighter with a real zest for life."
Lewis had been a healthy boy until he developed a limp and bowel problems.
Three doctors thought he was constipated or had an ear infection, as the cancer is difficult to diagnose.
Eventually, when the tumour in his stomach started poking through his ribs, doctors sent him for scans - and neuroblastoma was diagnosed.
Susan, 32, said: "I found out I was pregnant in February and Lewis was diagnosed in March.
One good bit of news - and then awful news."
The cancer attacks the adrenal glands and nervous system and the tiny boy had tumours all over his body.
But all he could think about was the little brother he was going to have.
He chatted excitedly to his parents about "my baby".
As Lewis and his family shuttled between their home in Dundee and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh for his gruelling bouts of chemotherapy, Susan booked herself into hospitals in both cities for the birth.
She said: "The doctors told us he had an incredibly aggressive form of the cancer.
"He should have been bedridden but he was still running about, looking really well.
He was just so brave.
"That was the sort of wee boy he was.
He didn't let the cancer stop him.
"He kept on fighting right to the end.
He must have been in so much pain."
Arthur was born in September and the happy family were hopeful for Lewis's recovery as he ran around.
His mum recalled: "Lewis would hear Arthur crying before me, and fetch me, saying, 'Baby, milk."'
But two weeks after the new arrival, Lewis worsened.
At first, the doctors thought it was just exhaustion.
"But I knew it was more than that,' said Susan.
"Eventually, they took him for a scan and found a tumour they didn't know about up his spine.
"It was pressing on his brain, he couldn't talk properly and his legs were paralysed.
"We had thought he was going to get better.
Then they said he had months or weeks.
"We had all these things we were planning to do - we wanted to take him to Euro Disney.
"But we never had time.
In the space of just a few days we went from thinking he was getting better, to losing him.
"It happened so quickly.
"With what we know now, he should not even have been able to walk at the end and yet he was running about until three days before he died."
Arthur will now be taken for tests for the cancer.
It is not a genetic illness but Susan wants to put her mind at rest.
Susan said: "If Lewis had been diagnosed earlier, maybe he'd still be here.
"A simple urine test can pick it up in its early stages.
All babies should be screened."
Lewis's funeral took place last week at his parish church in Dundee
10 November 2005
By Christina Stokes
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