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End of treatment bell for cancer rings loud and proud for young patients at West Herts

Posted: 9 April 2018,
Valerie Hill, Communications Apprentice

Picture of Jenson Galloway standing with hbis family on Starfish ward underneath the bell

Six year old Jenson Galloway proudly rang a very special bell on Starfish ward at Watford General Hospital last week – the end of treatment bell. Ringing the bell celebrates and symbolises the end of a patient’s treatment for cancer marking their bravery, courage and determination. It is an important stage in the patient’s journey through their illness.

Jenson was unfortunately diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of three and has bravely fought against cancer for the last three years. To celebrate a significant moment in his long battle he rang the end of treatment bell with his family.

Jenson’s mum, Nicky, said: “The best thing about today is seeing Jenson back to being a normal child, not having to take medicine, and seeing him full of energy. This is a fresh start for him, as all he has ever known since he can remember is taking medicine and receiving treatment. I want to say a massive thank you to all the staff at Watford General and Great Ormond Street Hospital – without them it would have been a different journey.”

In February, seven year old Samuel Van Emden and his family kindly donated the bell to Starfish ward because they wanted to give something back to the place where Samuel spent four years receiving treatment for leukaemia. As well as donating the bell, Samuel celebrated the end of his treatment by ringing the bell himself, which his parents said was “really special”.

On the day, Samuel was joined by his consultant, Dr Vasanta Nanduri, and his paediatric oncology specialist nurse (now retired) Rosie Chisnell. Dr Nanduri said: “It is wonderful to see Samuel completing his treatment for leukaemia. This is what makes my job so special.”

Since February, many other children have enjoyed celebrating the end of their treatment. Two-year old Isla Austin rang the bell after completing 16 months of cancer treatment at Watford General and also Great Ormond Street Hospital. Isla was diagnosed with neuroblastoma stage 4 high risk cancer on her first birthday. Her mother, Anna, said they were completely ecstatic that Isla had finished her treatment and overwhelmed by the care their daughter received.

Betsy Griffin, aged four, also rang the end of treatment bell to celebrate the end of her treatment for a brain tumour. Betsy was diagnosed with a tumour at two and half years old and endured 18 months of chemotherapy. In Betsy’s own words: “I finished my chemo and have been very brave, even when I am feeling grumpy!”

And eight-year old Kaleem Hussain is the latest to ring the bell after being diagnosed with leukaemia aged five. His parents praised the “fantastic care” that Kaleem received at West Herts.

Congratulations to all the children who have completed their treatment!

Ends


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  1. For more information, please contact Name, title in the Trust’s communications department on telephone: 01923 436 281 or email: info@whht.nhs.uk. Out of hours, please call 07900 228 031.
  2. West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust is a large acute trust serving people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three sites at Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospitals and sees about 600,000 patients a year. We are one of the largest employers locally, with around 4,500 staff and volunteers.