Pirate FM News

Keep up to date with the latest news delivered direct to your Inbox.

Cornish Dad Tells How Pioneering Treatment Allows Him To Put His Children To Bed At Night

PirateFM news logo wide
Delicious Submit this page to reddit

7:01am 8th November 2013

A Cornish dad battling cancer says a unique treatment scheme means he can be home to put his children to bed.

Andy MacDonald from St Columb is having stem cells harvested at Treliske then getting a final massive surge of chemo at Derriford.

In other parts of the country patients have to travel miles for the same treatment.

Patients with Myeloma, cancer of the bone marrow, and lymphoma, cancer of the lymphatic system are treated with several courses of chemotherapy and once in remission, stem cells are collected from their blood and then re-introduced after a massive, final dose of chemotherapy.

Dr Bryson Pottinger said: "Stem Cell treatment is the gold standard for these conditions and we are able to offer most of that here in Truro as part of the South West Peninsula Stem Cell Programme. The treatment is a long, complex process with a lot of associated regulation around it. In hospitals of this size in most other parts of the country you would expect to send people away for that kind of treatment.

"Because of our unique programme, we are able to treat patients locally with their chemotherapy and then when they achieve remission, we harvest their stem cells and send them to Plymouth where they are stored in liquid nitrogen. A few weeks later, the patient is sent to Derriford for a final chemotherapy session and the stem cells are then re-introduced and the patient returns to Cornwall."

By doing it this way, the patient only spends a week out of the county and is then able to spend their recovery time at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, closer to home.

Andy MacDonald from St Columb Major is one of those benefiting from the service. Andrew, 27, was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in February 2011 after suffering with hip and leg pain.

Andrew said: "The diagnosis was very unexpected. My GP had initially thought it was sciatica but after various tests and visits to the hospital it was discovered I had a tumour on my hip and more in my stomach."

Andrew started six months of chemotherapy and was in remission for three months before he was told it had come back. This time he is undergoing a stem cell transplant as part of his treatment.

The young dad said: "Being able to have most of my treatment done here in Truro is definitely an advantage. It just means a bit of stability, I have a partner and two young kids. I had to be here at the hospital for the harvest at 8.15am, if I'd had to go all the way to Derriford it would have been a problem. This all just helps to keep some normality."

Following his stem cell harvest, Andrew was able to go home and in four to six weeks he will be off to Derriford for a week for the transplant. He will then be able to return to the Royal Cornwall Hospital for around three weeks of isolation while his body replenishes its immunity.

Dr Pottinger added: "These patients are in hospital for three to four weeks so if they had to go away for that time it would be really quite disruptive. This way they are away for about a week but can then come back here to recover. It is nice to be able to do this so patients don't have to travel as much."

While there is a national move in the NHS to group complex procedures into smaller numbers of centres of excellence, the Stem Cell Transplant Service at the Royal Cornwall Hospital is an example of how a centralised service does not have to mean centralised care.

Dr Pottinger says: "We are proud that we've developed a service that suits the geography of our population and the needs of our patient group.  We feel ours is a good model for working across multiple sites with elements delivered at each and it has obvious benefits for both patients and staff. The patients are able to stay in the care of their local hospital and doctors. We, as a team, are able to draw on a wider group of colleagues when reviewing patients and sharing problems."

Stem Cell and Transplant co-ordinator Teresa Batchelor helps patients through the transplant. Assisting her are four nurses from the Headland Unit who are all specially trained in stem cell harvests and there is a programme which is currently training two more.

Teresa said: "This is a tough treatment to go through. Patients, particularly those with myeloma, can spend up to two days, four and a half hours a day, having their stem cells harvested before going to Derriford for their transplant. If we can make it a smooth and seamless service for our patients, that's a good thing. It really is about helping Cornish patients spend as much time as close to home as possible."

Dr Pottinger added: "We are very proud of the quality of nursing care that is involved in this. From a nurse perspective it is a very specialised field and involves doing something technical and challenging."

7:01am 8th November 2013

Share This Story

Delicious Submit this page to reddit
Suggested articles
joseph sciascia

WATCH: Race Against Time For Cornish Dad Dying Of Cancer

Joe Sciascia's family launch appeal to help him get married

Cornish Pirates - logo

RUGBY: "Not All Is Lost" For Cornish Pirates

They are looking to bounce back as they face London Irish in the B&I Cup

Most read
police line

BREAKING: One Person Cut Free After Crash

It closed stretch of A30 near Bodmin, sparking long delays

mannequin challenge 1

WATCH: Firefighter's Death Sparks Mannequin Challenge

Cornish crews staged this video as a road safety warning

Top articles

WATCH: Christmas Cybercrime Warnings For Cornwall

Cornwall News: How three little words could protect thousands of us online...

Pirate FM Cornwall News Update - 7th January 2016

Cornwall Video News: Officials say they’re holding talks to find new jobs for hundreds of workers in Bodmin.

AA Gill's last article reveals life-extending drug was too expensive

National News: Revered critic AA Gill described in his final article how the NHS was unable to give him potentially life-extending cancer treatment.

Business Cornwall News - Friday, 18th December 2015

Business Cornwall News: Cornwall is spearheading reform of the Uk’s business licensing laws following a a year-long project.

AA Gill's last article reveals life-extending drug was too expensive

Showbiz News: Revered critic AA Gill described in his final article how the NHS was unable to give him potentially life-extending cancer treatment.

Explosion at Cairo's Coptic cathedral kills 25, wounds dozens

World News: A bomb explosion inside the main Coptic Christian cathedral in Egypt's capital, Cairo, has killed 25 people and wounded dozens.

Badminton and wheelchair rugby among sports to lose Olympic funding

Sports News: Archery, badminton, fencing, weightlifting and wheelchair rugby will not get funding in the run up to the Tokyo Olympics.

Fancy a snooze? Edinburgh University students back £10k 'nap pods' on campus

Strange News: Students at Edinburgh University have voted in favour of installing "nap pods" in an effort to beat sleep deprivation.

Newer article

Windfarms Consultation "Incomprehensible"

Cornwall News: Council asks for our views on hundreds of pages of documents on renewable energy - which campaigners say most people won't bother reading

Older article

Cornish Domestic Violence Program Rolled Out

Cornwall News: The government wants to follow Clear's lead by going into schools

Cornwall's Pirate FMPirate 2Escape to Cornwall radioLoveCornwall.com - The Cornish Business DirectoryPirate Education and Training

 

© Copyright Pirate FM

Pirate FM cannot be held responsible for the content of external links.

Close

We Use Cookies

This website uses cookies to store information on your computer.

By using this website you accept the use of cookies as explained in the terms of our cookie policy.