A FOUR-YEAR-OLD from York is set to fly out for lifesaving treatment in America this weekend.
Harvey Thompson, of Foxwood, was found to have a tumour the size of an orange on his brain in January and he underwent an urgent 13-hour operation to remove it.
The Woodthorpe School pupil is now awaiting confirmation that he will fly out to Oklahoma for a specialised form of radiotherapy on Saturday, to safely remove the final part of the tumour from his brain stem.
While the NHS is due to fund the treatment, money gathered through a remarkable fundraising effort, which has now reached nearly £15,000, will cover living costs for Harvey, his dad and grandad while they are in America for about ten weeks, as well as helping other families.
Dave Thompson, Harvey’s dad, said it was a very worrying time for the family.
He said: “Because we’ve been waiting a while we want to get there and get it done now.
“There’s no certainty he will come back totally cured and we don’t know about the side effects. There are no certainties over how he is going to be because he will be put under general anaesthetic for each radiotherapy session.”
Harvey was diagnosed with ependymoma, a tumour of the nerve cells and cells that support and protect the nerve cells in the brain, after having a scan to work out why he had no appetite.
The proton radiotherapy – which is not available in the UK – has been suggested by doctors as the least risky option as the small remainder of the tumour is on his brain stem and the treatment is likely to cause fewer side-effects for Harvey, who has autism.
Mr Thompson will accompany his son with his father, Frank. Harvey’s mum, Kerrie, and 22-month-old sister, Savannah, will stay in York.
An incredible fundraising effort by wellwishers had yesterday raised £14,600 as part of an appeal which has been so successful, it is due to become a registered charity to help other families in similar positions.
About £5,000 of this will support Harvey and his family while in the US, but the rest of money will remain within the fund, Mr Thompson said.
Among the events to have been held was a charity night at the Quaker Wood in Woodthorpe, which raised £2,300.
Forthcoming events include a celebrity charity football match for Harvey’s fund and IDAS (Independent Domestic Abuse Services) in Tadcaster at 2pm this Sunday when Caritas FC will take on a celebrity team due to be made up of members from TOWIE, Big Brother and East 17. For more information, visit foxfc.com