A five-year-old has been given the all-clear from a rare form of cancer - which started as a lump on his head.
Harry Frank has overcome all the odds after being diagnosed with Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) and underwent 30 rounds of chemotherapy as part of his treatment.
Now he is getting ready to start primary school in August, a day mums Stephanie and Elaine Frank feared they might never see.
They thought Harry, who was aged three-and-a-half when the growth appeared, had fallen and banged his head.
An ultrasound was carried out but it was believed to be a cyst.
But a surgeon asked for the bump to be further investigated when Harry, from Falkirk, Scotland, had his tonsils removed at Forth Valley Royal Hospital.
‘We can’t thank the team enough’
Elaine, 43, said they were shocked when Harry was diagnosed with LCH, a rare disorder that can damage tissue or cause lesions to form in the body, on 1 February last year.
She said they spotted the lump in August 2020, saying: “It was just a lump that appeared on his head out of the blue, we thought he had fallen as it was a very obvious bump.
“We took him to the GP who in turn referred him to Forth Valley Royal Hospital for an ultrasound.”
"They thought it was a dermoid cyst but a few months later when Harry was in FVRH to have his tonsils removed the surgeon said it needed further investigation.
"He had an MRI scan in Glasgow and that’s when we heard he had this rare form of cancer. By this time there was no visible sign of the lump as it was now growing through his skull bone.
"Harry had to go into the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow for surgery.
"He then underwent about 30 sessions of chemotherapy.
"A couple of times he caught infections and had to go back into hospital. But we can’t thank the team there enough – they were fantastic.”
Harry was given the all-clear on 3 May, and Elaine also praised Harry’s consultant, Dr Dermot Murphy, who she said would respond to her anxious email queries at all hours.
Elaine, who is also mum to Joe, 18, Katie, 15 and nine-year-old Charlie said the news came on her daughter’s birthday making it a double cause for celebration.
The family also praised the staff at his nursery saying their support throughout the last 18 months had been invaluable.
Harry had only recently started at Carmuirs Early Learning and Childcare Centre when he became ill. He could have started at Bantaskin Primary last summer but his parents decided as he had missed so much of his early years time that they would wait till this August.
Superhero party to mark milestone
To mark his graduation from nursery and completing his cancer journey, staff and pupils organised a celebration last Friday with a superhero theme. It included a visit from Harry’s favourite – Spiderman, and the youngster wore his own costume on the day.
Elaine said: “The staff have been amazing all the way on this journey. Harry would go to nursery when he felt able and if he only lasted a couple of hours that was fine.
"When he was first diagnosed they came to our house, including one dressed as Spiderman, and put on a show for him in the front garden. He loved it.”
Stephanie Duncan, an early years officer at the nursery, said: “Harry is a confident, clever and full of energy wee boy. He started back at nursery with so much enthusiasm and love for playing with his friends.
"As well as having him walk through the playground where everyone cheered for him, the school singing group also performed a special song for him.”
His mums and grandparents were also invited along to witness this special day and thank all those involved.