by Nick Bramhill
THE parents of terminally-ill Gavin Glynn have urged their family and friends to pray for the four-year-old today, as he undergoes life-saving surgery in the US.
The brave youngster, from Greystones, Co. Wicklow, who suffers from a rare form of cancer, faces his biggest battle to date today, after surgeons discovered his operation will be more complex than previously thought.
His parents Jayne and John Glynn, who raised their €350,000 target in just one week for his specialist treatment in Houston, Texas, said the open surgery – scheduled to start this morning – has been made even more challenging because Gavin’s tumour has increased in size in recent days.
And they admitted they were some “long, hard and scary times” ahead after Gavin was admitted to the world-renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center (stet) yesterday ahead of his operation, after which he is scheduled to spend a further week in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
But they said the procedure, which aims to cure the killer disease that affects their youngest child’s pelvic muscles, offers the best chance of saving his life.
In his latest blog Gavin’s father, John, said: “The last few days have been hard as Gavin has had some pain. We found out from the MRI scans that the tumor (stet) has grown since we were at home and is pressing against his bladder and nerve on his leg, so this has caused a lot of discomfort over the last few days.
“We have been told that the surgery is now more complicated than we first thought and will take between 10-12 hours. Jayne and I will take turns staying with Gavin every night and both of us will be with him every day. He will be in ICU after the operation for at least 1 week.
“We have some long hard and scary times ahead of us but we will be strong for our little Superhero Gavin. This is his and our biggest battle so far and we will win…We know we have everyone behind us which gives us massive strength to battle the fight ahead.”
He added: “We want to thank everyone [for] your kind messages and support at home and in Houston. Everyone has been amazing to us. Please keep Gavin in your prayers and thoughts over the coming days and we will update everyone once he returns from surgery.”
Courageous Gavin’s condition first came to light nearly three years when his mother, Jayne, spotted a lump when she changed his nappy.
Days later specialists at Crumlin Children’s Hospital confirmed the youngster had a tumour in his pelvic area, called ‘Rhabdomyosarcoma’, which is a complex and aggressive childhood cancer of the muscle which just one other person in Ireland is understood to suffer from.
Gavin, the youngest of Jayne and John’s three children, has since endured numerous treatments and surgical operations in Dublin and Switzerland.
But last month, after being told Gavin had just months to live, his parents launched the ‘My Boy’ fundraising campaign, raising an incredible €350,000 in just one week to cover medical costs in the US.
His parents believe the specialist treatment he is undergoing in Texas – called HIPEC and lasting eight weeks in total – represents his best hope.