Sammy was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, pediatric brain cancer, on October 19, 2016. That day started like any other day of a 4-year-old in preschool. But that day changed our lives forever. He spent the next 246 days inpatient at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Surgeries, chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, and rehabilitation. All in hopes our child would survive.
He was discharged on June 22, 2017. He came home a different child. Now in a wheelchair, on a feeding tube, in need of lots of support to conquer everyday life. He suffered posterior fossa syndrome, a side effect of his craniotomy. He suffered a hearing loss, a side effect of chemotherapy. Our child was no longer the child who walked in the hospital 246 days prior. But he was home.
10 weeks after he was discharged, with clear scans free of cancer, we learned his cancer was back. And Sammy was diagnosed as terminal. He had new growths in brain, and in spine. At 5 years old, we were told our child had no cure, no hope, no chance to survive.
We hit pause. Took our family to Disneyland, before we made any decisions for what was next. Then back to reality of our nightmare of childhood cancer. We took every day, five minutes at a time. We opted for radiation. Our best chance at giving him quality of life and giving us time.
We spent the next 6 months living life as best we could. Making memories. Hoping. Praying. That he could beat the odds. We did palliative chemotherapy in hopes to slow things down, and planned to stop, if quality of life declined.
Sadly, in March he suffered complications from hydrocephalus. Negative pressure hydrocephalus, that was unable to be controlled. We made the decision to place Sammy on hospice care and stop all treatment. On April 12, 2018, at 6 years old, Sammy took his last breath and went into the arms of Jesus.