Hope following Zac’s surgery

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A MAJOR operation on a little boy battling cancer looks as though it has been a success.

Seven-year-old Zac Knighton-Smith, of Rushden, who has acute neuroblastoma, was operated on in Germany on Wednesday to remove tumours, close to blood vessels supplying major organs, from his abdomen.

During the operation, which lasted just over two hours, the doctors discovered the tumours had been killed by the last round of chemotherapy Zac had,which made the difficult surgery easier.

Zac’s grandmother June Knighton said: “The tumours are being tested to make sure there are no live cells there but at this stage this is the best news we could have hoped for. The surgeon’s really pleased with Zac’s progress and he was able to leave the intensive care unit on Thursday afternoon and go back to his own hospital room. He’s got to remain in bed at the minute but we’re hoping he’ll be well enough to fly home next week.”

Originally Zac was due to have his third lot of surgery in three years in this country on January 4 but as his family were leaving to take him they were told there were no critical care beds available and his surgery would be put back to January 19.

His family contacted doctors in Germany, who have already help to treat Zac, and an operation was arranged there instead which cost 8,000 Euros.

Rushden and Wellingborough MP Peter Bone said: “I’m pressing the Primary Care Trust to fund the operation. This treatment should be funded by the NHS because they couldn’t do it in this country in the time required. Zac’s in our thoughts. We’re hoping his operation was a success.”

Once he recovers from the operation Zac will undergo more specialist relapse chemotherapy, hopefully in this country. He will also return to a German cancer clinic where he will receive treatment to clear his body of the poisons connected to the chemotherapy and build his immune system up. His family need to raise about £20,000 for these trips and treatment and are starting by holding a charity auction which will include dresses donated by television presenter Lorraine Kelly.

To donate unwanted Christmas presents to the auction, or to help with fundraising, call 01933 460773 or email junian65@aol.com.