A 23-month old Co. Cavan boy will undergo a life saving operation on Wednesday, April 22 at one of the largest pediatric medical centers in the U.S., Children’s Hospital Boston.
Adam Clerkin, from Shercock, Co. Cavan, was diagnosed with a tumor on his lower jaw last November after his parents Sinead and Donal found a swelling in the area.
Doctors call it Ewing’s Sarcoma. It is a rare type of bone cancer that usually affects teenage children.
Since his diagnosis, Adam, who will be two at the end of May, underwent several intensive courses of chemotherapy at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin in an effort to shrink the tumor. Unable to do anything else to help Adam in Ireland, the Children’s Hospital in Boston agreed to take on Adam’s case.
On Wednesday, Adam will undergo a 20-hour operation that will remove the tumor. The operation will entail removing the young boy’s jawbone and replacing it with a bone from his leg.
On Monday, Adam’s mother Sinead Clerkin told IrishCentral it was too difficult to speak about her baby son’s upcoming operation.
“The next couple of days are very anxious for us and he is having the surgery on Wednesday,” said Sinead emotionally.
Sinead did say she was grateful that Adam was completely oblivious to what lay ahead of him.
“He is so young. He just has no clue,” she said.
Adam, accompanied by his parents, arrived in Boston on Sunday. Although Sinead couldn’t pinpoint how long Adam would remain in hospital after the grueling operation, doctors estimate he will be there for a month or so.
“The first 45 days are critical so we will see after that,” said Sinead. “It’s quite major surgery so it really depends on how Adam gets through it.”
Because the life-saving operation can’t be performed in Ireland, the Irish Health Service Executive will pay for the procedure. However, thousands of dollars are needed for Adam’s after care and his parents’ living expenses while in the U.S. Sinead and Donal are currently staying in a hotel next to the hospital so they can be with their son around the clock.
Chairman of the fundraising committee back in Ireland, Peadar Mohan, told the Irish Voice that to date and “thanks to the generosity of the local people” they have raised close to $250,000.
“Although the operation is being paid for there will be a lot of costs associated with Adam’s after care,” said Mohan, who is the principal of the school Sinead and Donal attended when they were children.
To donate to Adam’s cause a check can be written to:
National Irish Bank, Main Street, Shercock, Co. Cavan, Ireland. Sort Code: 95-17-16 Account Number: 10011681.
Alternatively donations may be made through Paypal on http://www.adamclerkin.com