A mother, from Leicester, whose son died just seven months after being diagnosed with cancer has spoken of her heartbreak.
Lucas was like any other nine-year-old boy. He was happy, active, noisy and loving. His family were looking forward to his imminent birthday but two weeks before the celebrations, mum, Kim, was given the devastating news that Lucas had a brain tumour.
She was told he had two years to live and there was nothing that could be done. The cancer was a very rare form with no cure. Surgery was never an option.
Sadly, Lucas died on December 11 2022, seven months after his diagnosis. “I felt like we had been robbed,” said Kim. “He never got to do a bucket list, we didn’t have time to do anything with him. It was all so very cruel.
“Lucas was very chatty, he never shut up. He was a cheeky normal 10-year-old boy. He was hyper, very loving and an absolute pleasure to have around. There is definitely a big hole in the house.
“Lucas was never an ill child, I knew when he was ill because he wanted Mummy cuddles. “When he began tilting his head to one side and being sick everyone thought he had an ear infection. But his symptoms persisted and worsened. He was unable to hold his balance, so Lucas was given an MRI, which took two hours longer than normal as he was unable to lie down without being sick.
“Hearing the diagnosis was like they had pulled the rug from under our feet. He went downhill so quickly and by his birthday he was in a wheelchair. It was a very rapid tumour. He lost his mobility very quickly on one side and he was getting very painful headaches.”
Lucas was unaware of the extent of his illness but understood he had a lump in his head. Kim said he didn’t want to give in, but it was frightening for him.
One day, Lucas caught a cold that affected him very badly, after that, he was unable to speak. He had lost his mobility and he communicated with his eyes. “The kid never shut up and then he couldn’t talk, it was so hard,” said Kim. “But he was still mischievous. He used to roll his eyes at the doctors and pretend to be asleep.
“We knew the differences in him every single day. We knew when we woke up that he would have declined more. People ask if I dreaded waking up but I didn’t because I barely slept. I always wanted to make sure he was okay.”
Kim and Lucas came to our hospice in October 2022 and never left. For an exhausted Kim, she was able to recharge her batteries and be mum rather than a constant carer as she leaned on our team.
“We came to Rainbows and we went swimming and he enjoyed a massage. Lucas loved coming to Rainbows. His older brother, Tyler, came to see him and they played in the pool together and I could hear the giggles. I hadn’t heard giggles for a long time. A real belly giggle. I don’t think he ever giggled again after that.
“Lucas also loved the Cinema Room. One time we put on The Avengers and I curled up on the floor and fell asleep knowing he was happy.
“At Rainbows I knew he was looked after. The support for Lucas and myself was amazing. His dad, Jamie, was also able to come at weekends. And my partner, Laurence, and Lucas’ other brother, Rian, were also able to visit.
“One night, Lucas became unwell, I had been at home as I had a cold and didn’t want to pass it on to him. The Rainbows Nurses called me to come in. I got there and climbed into bed with him and held him. Both Jamie and I were with him. When Lucas went to sleep I told him that I loved him so much and we will be ok if you have to go. Then I kissed him good night on the forehead then he went to sleep.”
“The team at Rainbow are all amazing and they helped so much. It is like one big family.”
The team at Rainbow are all amazing and they helped so much. It is like one big family.