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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Workington's Emily is still smiling

These pictures show brave leukaemia-sufferer Emily Shutt on a rare visit to her Workington home.

Emily, who had her fourth birthday last week, has been in and out of hospitals for nearly half her life.

But the courageous youngster is still smiling.

Her condition deteriorated late last year, and her family learned that only a bone marrow transplant could save her life.

She was due to start an intensive course of radiotherapy this week at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital this week before undergoing a transplant at the city’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.

A consultant has decided to postpone the procedure because Emily has a cold.

When the transplant goes ahead, her family will then face an anxious wait to see if it works.

Emily’s father Martyn, 42, said: “What we have been through so far is the easy bit.”

Her mother Helen Johnson, 36, said: “We are totally ecstatic that a donor has been found for Emily but it is horrible that it has come to this.

“Emily has not had a life. When she has been at home she has not been allowed out. Kids from the neighbourhood stand at the window and wave to her.”

Emily’s parents and six-year-old brother Alfie will move from their home on Railbank Drive to Newcastle while the procedure is carried out.

The family has been forced to spend long hours apart, and Alfie has also been affected by all the upheaval.

Helen added: “We appreciate our family a whole lot more and we have definitely grown much closer because of it.”

Doctors said last summer that Emily appeared to be winning her battle and was expected to be free of treatment this year, but tests found some unusual cells.

She is among just two per cent of leukaemia patients to suffer a relapse during treatment, which makes a transplant essential.

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