‘Romy has been an inspiration to us at such a difficult time’

THE parents of five-year-old Romy McGahy, who is being treated for an aggressive form of cancer at Southampton Hospital, have said she has been ‘an inspiration’ while undergoing 10 months of intense treatment.

Romy McGahy with her sister Zephyr, 2. (31314284)
Romy McGahy with her sister Zephyr, 2. (31314284)

Doctors found a tumour soon after she started reception classes last year.

She was placed on emergency chemotherapy immediately and a biospy revealed a high-risk and aggressive neuroblastoma that had spread to other parts of her body.

After going to Southampton she has since had four different treatments, including surgery and three different courses of chemotherapy.

The most recent was in June and was a high-dose form of chemo combined with a stem cell transplant.

With Romy in Southampton are her mum and dad, Helen and Tom, and little sister, Zephyr, 2.

After the latest treatment, Romy was placed in isolation for several weeks and this was the longest that she and her sister had been apart since Romy’s treatment began, said Mrs McGahy.

‘It took her nine weeks to start eating or drinking anything at all and even now she will only have the occasional tiny nibble of something,’ she said.

She is being kept nourished via a nasogastric tube.

‘Her recovery from the high dose chemo has been as well as could be expected and over the past few weeks she has been well enough to visit playgrounds for about half an hour at a time, which has given us all little snippets of what feels like “normal” life.

‘This is an especially vulnerable time for her but visiting playgrounds or going for walks outside are lower risk than any indoor events or locations.’

The family was able to go to a wedding in the UK between planning appointments and the next stage of Romy’s treatment, which Mrs McGahy described as ‘overwhelming’, since it was the first time in 10 months that they had seen family and friends.

‘Although we had to keep a low profile at the wedding it did us all the world of good.

‘It was also the first time we have been more than 10 minutes away from a hospital, as both in Southampton and London the hospital is on our doorstep.’

Romy is next scheduled to have radiotherapy treatment followed by six months of immunotherapy.

‘Romy has been an inspiration to us and although this has been such a difficult time she has been so resilient,’ said Mrs McGahy.

A GoFundMe page was set up to help the family during this difficult time and so far this has raised just over £56,500.

‘We would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts,’ wrote Mr and Mrs McGahy on the page in August.

‘These funds are helping with living expenses and to pay our mortgage back home while we live in the whirlwind of treatment away from our normal lives.’

n The GoFundMe page is at bit.ly/3CALo0j while a blog of Romy’s progress can be found at romyocean.gg.

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