Mission for Sam gets to the halfway mark and going well

Philip Astle, SCAS chief operating officer and, right, Paul Jefferies, assistant
director of operations

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HALFWAY through his treatment, and the parents of Sam John say a specialist therapy has stopped their son’s brain tumour from growing further.

Steve and Victoria John, of Fareham, are in America, with their 16-year-old son Sam.

The Neville Lovett school pupil is having more than 30 sessions of proton beam therapy (PBT), and is about halfway through the process.

The first session lasted 45 minutes, but since then it has been reduced to 30 minutes.

At the end of each session, Sam gets to ring giant chimes placed in the Florida hospital.

Victoria said: ‘His doctor is really pleased with him, there’s no swelling to his tumour, or ventricles, and he has a healthy brain.

‘And apart from 13 hours sleep a night not being enough, he has no other side effects at the moment.’

As previously reported, PBT is a precise form of radiotherapy.

It works by using charged particles instead of X-rays to deliver a dose of radiotherapy for patients which is more precise to the tumour, and causes minimal damage to surrounding tissue.

Sam was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour when he was nine years old.

In March this year, tests revealed the tumour had started growing again.

The PBT costs at least £100,000, and at first the Johns were not sure if the NHS would pay.

Donations and fundraisers raised £120,000, and the NHS will pay towards the treatment too, so the family has used some money to pay for costs in Florida and will donate the rest to charity.