After Planning His Funneral , Boy Given Chance to Live

12781754693_ace1da4f8b_zDeryn Blackwell figured if he was going to die young, he would at least have a good funeral.

The 14-year-old from Watton, Norfolk was given just days to live this past December after suffering for nearly four years from leukemia and Langerhans cell sarcoma, two forms of cancer. Deryn had his entire memorial planned; from the Mohawk pink haircut he would sport in his casket to the song he would have played in the procession (“Move Your Feet” by Danish duo Junior Senior).

Then, a miracle happened. The second week in January, a bone marrow transplant Deryn’s family thought was a failure, combined with various medications and a positive attitude, gave the young boy a second chance at life. After being sent to hospice, saying his good-byes and going off medication, out of nowhere, his body began to recover.

“The time I thought I might actually live was when my bandages came off my finger and I saw that [my wounds] were healed. This shouldn’t have been possible and it made me ask what was going on,” Deryn tells the Good News Blog. “The next day, I had a blood test and it showed that I had a very tiny neutrophil count. The doctors started saying that I should maybe think twice about refusing help as I might actually have a chance.”

According to the Daily Mail, Deryn had been through more than 300 procedures at that point, including four bone marrow transplants. Approximately 104 days after his final operation, the cells had finally grafted and he was healing.

While the doctors couldn’t understand how Deryn’s body was overcoming infections, Deryn says he was having a harder time adjusting to the fact he wasn’t going to pass away after all. He’d become at peace with his fate, and was happy to be rid of the pains that cancer had put him through in his short life.

“I found it easier to deal with my death because I knew it would be the end of my long illness,” Deryn comments. “I knew it would mean no more doctors, no more drugs or painful procedures. I wanted an end to it all after four years of having no life and being trapped in a hospital room for 18 months. Living meant that I would have to go back to the hospital and be prodded and poked again. It meant that it could go on forever. Dying would have been a way out for me.”

Initially, Deryn saw dying as an escape, but now, his outlook has changed. He has come to understand what a future means, the possibilities it allots him, and how he will use his newly granted time. He’s started his own charity, Do Everything, to help kids like him pursue their dreams following difficult medical experiences. The organization will run residential camps for young teenagers diagnosed with cancer.

Deryn is also making sure that he uses his days on Ea12782075634_80a95b683crth to do something worthwhile.

“Living is about taking every opportunity that I can,” Deryn remarks. “The life I had before I was ill was quite normal and boring, I want to make the most of my life now and do everything that makes me happy.”

Furthermore, from the experience, Deryn says he’s learned a lot about this thing called living.

“Life is fragile because it can be taken away from you so easily,” he comments. “I learned about myself, that I can deal with stressful situations very easily and without getting too emotional. My mum says that I’m very pragmatic and the voice of reason. I also learned that funerals are quite expensive!”

Looks like Deryn has a savings account now!


Story by Good News Blog

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