THE parents of a baby undergoing cancer treatment are looking to the future after enjoying the fun-filled family Christmas they feared may never happen.
Devlin Whitfield-Martin was due to be in hospital receiving chemotherapy on Christmas Day.
But after undergoing an emergency blood transfusion that forced his treatment to be rescheduled, the one-year-old was instead surrounded by family to take in the festivities.
Devlin, who was diagnosed with cancer when he was just eight-months-old has astounded his proud parents who say, despite his illness, he always has a smile on his face.
Mum emily Whitfield, 24, of Jubilee Road, Wheatley, said: “He is absolutely amazing, he has inspired so many people and whenever we are having a bad day or thinking about how unfair it is that Devlin is ill we just look at his smiling face and it gets us through.
“It doesn’t even bear thinking about, but at one stage his blood pressure was so high we could have lost him and this Christmas could’ve been very different.”
But, thankfully, for one day the family were able to put the heartache of the past four months behind them and celebrate.
Devlin, who won a Doncaster Free Press superkid award recently for his determination, spent the day with his mum and dad Zac Martin at his grandma Margaret Whitfield’s house in Liverpool.
“We had a lovely time at my mum’s. We had a nice family dinner and for one day we just forget about Devlin’s illness and celebrated.
“The day completely revolved around Devlin and that’s the way we wanted it.”
Alarms bells started ringing when Devlin was eight-months-old and Emily noticed he had trouble rolling over and his stomach felt swollen.
Emily said: “I was doing baby massage on Devlin and his side felt swollen.
“After going through the tests they said whatever it was we had caught it early.”
After numerous tests and scans doctors detected a large cancerous tumour on his kidney.
Emily added: “When they told us it was cancer we were devastated.
“I don’t think is was as much of a shock because we had already prepared ourselves for the worst.”
Ever since the diagnosis the youngster has had to endure three days of chemotherapy every three weeks, and a potentially life-threatening operation to remove the tumour.
Devlin’s chemotherapy treatment is expected to continue until May.
Dad Zac, 33, said: “It has been absolutely exhausting, horrible, but for us to spend Christmas together was amazing.
“Throughout this he has always had a smile on his face, the nurses at sheffield Children’s Hospital love him, he’s very popular over
there because he’s so happy.”
Devlin, whose name means ‘brave‘ in Gaelic, is making the most of his time away from hospital playing with his Christmas presents that include a keyboard as he loves music.