The Archie Foundation provides support and services for babies, children and their families in Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital and Aberdeen Neonatal Unit, Highland Children’s Unit and Tayside Children’s Hospital. We also provide vital support for bereaved children and their families through Archie’s Child Bereavement Service.
We provide all of the extras that allow an enhanced level of care for local babies and children, such as providing emergency grants, specialist equipment, specialist staff and toys.
Below we hear from Shelley, Carter’s mum about their time at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital and the support The Archie Foundation has had on their family.
“In June 2019 we discovered a lump just under Carter’s jawline on his neck. We went to our local doctor who thought it was possibly just an enlarged lymph node. He asked us to wait three weeks and book back in if the lump didn’t go away.
Three weeks later we took Carter for blood tests. The blood tests came back and we got an emergency referral to see the paediatric doctor in Elgin. When we saw the paediatric doctor, she wanted more bloods taken and an ultrasound. The lymph node looked abnormal and the bloods were worse than before.
This led us to meeting the oncology team the next day at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital. He got another ultrasound on the lymph node and they didn’t think it was anything to be concerned about. None the less the oncology team asked us to come back in a couple of weeks to get it checked again. When we went back the lymph node had changed, so Carter then had to get an operation to remove the lymph node. A couple of weeks later he was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis.
Carter suffered terribly from night sweats and fevers before diagnosis and most nights he would look like he was just out of the shower and his bed was saturated.
Carter started Chemotherapy on the 12th of September 2019. He started with six weeks of vinblastine and prednisolone. This meant he got IV chemo once every week for six weeks. He moved onto maintenance which is chemo and steroids once every three weeks.
We have been very lucky not to spend too much time in the hospital. He has had a few temperature spikes, one infection and a couple of biopsies.
Carter received his last chemo was on the 13th of October 2021, and on November 2nd, him and his brother arrived in style to get his line out and ring the end of treatment bell when an Archie staff member arranged for the boys to arrive in supercars.
8 months since finishing treatment, Carter is going from strength to strength and we are so proud of how brave and resilient he has been!
Archie’s services are amazing. When carter got his portacath in and started his treatment we were in for a week. We got to use Archie’s Parents Accommodation, it was great as it meant one of us could stay in the room with Carter and the other could stay downstairs. This saved us doing a 100-mile trip every day. Sarah, Archie’s play leader is amazing, Carter adores her. She is always entertaining the kids and on hand to help if you need it.
We also received a trip to Edinburgh to see the Lion King from Archie!! It was such a highlight for Carter and he still speaks about it.
Archie plays a massive role in RACH. We will be forever grateful for all the help we have received. Emotionally Carter’s diagnosis has been hard. As a family it’s been difficult to be apart at times. Travis, Carter’s brother has to stay at home a lot and I feel like there is more focus on Carter than him which is hard at times. Financially it’s been extremely difficult, but The Archie Foundation have helped ease that by helping with travel costs.
Archie will always hold a special part in our hearts.”