Southsea boy had six rounds of chemo at eight months old and had eye removed at four due to rare cancer
BY THE time he was four years old, Eddie Hall had undergone more than six rounds of chemotherapy and cryotherapy in both eyes, spent time in four hospitals and had to have his left eye removed due to a rare eye cancer.
The now-12-year-old youngster from Southsea was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma when he was just eight months old.
He had six rounds of chemotherapy and cryotherapy in both his eyes but after 18 months Eddie had to go to Great Ormond Street Hospital for more chemotherapy.
Tragically, brave Eddie had to have his left eye removed just before his fourth birthday.
But in spite of the difficult start in life, Eddie said he is just like any lad his age.
‘I don’t really think about my life as having one eye and it is not a problem because it has always been like that,’ he told The News.
‘I don’t really let it hold me back and I do all the things my friends do. I like doing scooting on the weekend at Southsea skate park with my friends.’
For mum Diane it was difficult to see her son undergo so much treatment at a young age.
The 48-year-old school teacher said: ‘Chemotherapy is horrible at any age but seeing your baby have to go through it was heartbreaking.
‘But since this huge amount of treatment during his early years, we are delighted that Eddie has since been stable. He lives his life to the full, going to school, scooting at the skatepark and playing football. He is now a healthy, happy and fun loving 12-year-old, who we are immensely proud of.’
Eddie added he used to hate all trip to the hospital for treatment.
‘When I went to the hospital in London they use to give me an anaesthetic to do the check-ups and treatments and I didn’t like waking up from it,’ he said.
‘Now I am okay with the check-ups as I only have to go once or twice a year now. We like to make a day of it and have lots of fun.’
the Mayville High School pupil is now an ambassador of the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT), which is a charity partner of Vision Express, and he was invited as the special guest to mark the official opening of the Vision Express store in the Cascades shopping centre in Portsmouth, celebrating a recent refurbishment.
Diane added: ‘Having organisations such as Vision Express working alongside CHECT, to help promote awareness is extremely comforting to me as a parent. I believe partnerships like this will help create a greater understanding about the signs and symptoms of childhood eye cancer and its impact on patients’ lives.’
Portsmouth Vision Express store manager Alison Kirk said: ‘It was wonderful to meet Eddie and his mum Diane to officially declare our new-look store open. His story is truly inspiring and we are so pleased that things are going well for the family. This event also helps raise awareness of the wonderful work that the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust do.
“We’re proud at Vision Express to support CHECT and we urge any parents that suspect retinoblastoma or notice any potential symptoms in their child, such as a white glow in their eye in certain lighting conditions or a squint, to visit their local opticians or GP.’
To book an eye test at the Portsmouth store call 01292 823444