Carrick family left ‘in limbo’ as son battles cancer

Scott Kelley.  INCT 17-731-CON
Scott Kelley. INCT 17-731-CON

A Carrickfergus mum whose son is battling a rare form of cancer has appealed for help in making his “dreams come true”.

Thirteen-year-old Scott Kelley was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in December 2013.

There are so many things Scott wants to do and we don’t know at this stage if he will be able to

Debbie Kelley

The Downshire student had been experiencing pains in his abdomen and rapid weight loss since January of that year, according to his mum Debbie, from the Castlerocklands area of the town.

However, despite a number of visits to A&E and to his GP, no cause could be found for his symptoms.

In June 2013, Scott was referred to the Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children, where a series of tests initially pointed to a viral infection.

Scott was then called for an MRI scan at the RVH in December 2013. Following the scan, his doctor confirmed a possible hernia, but recommended a bone marrow biopsy.

Scott underwent the biopsy that same afternoon, after which Debbie was told her son did not have leukaemia.

However, her relief was short-lived when, on December 18, she received a call asking her to bring Scott back to the hospital immediately for emergency surgery.

“Radiology had another look at the scan and what they thought was part of Scott’s bowel wasn’t; haematology had another look at the bone marrow biopsy and didn’t like what they saw,” Debbie said.

Following further blood tests and the removal of a tumour from his groin, Scott was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia on Christmas Eve 2013.

He was allowed to spend Christmas Day and Boxing Day at home, returning just days later to commence his gruelling chemotherapy.

Scott’s treatment continued into the following year when, in October, problems arose with his liver function.

A sample of his liver was sent to Birmingham for analysis, and on April 8 this year, the family were told that results indicated Scott had Chronic Liver Disease, the cause for which remains unknown.

The 13-year-old is now faced with the possibility of either a liver or bone marrow transplant, although his cancer treatment remains the highest priority.

“We are in limbo; there are so many things Scott wants to do and we don’t know at this stage if he will be able to. His lifetime ambition is to meet the players from Manchester United football team and to play with them,” said Debbie.

The family have set up a webpage, Scott’s Dream, with the aim of raising funds to provide a positive experience for the 13-year-old.

“He is the glue that keeps our family together,” Debbie said. “He has such a spirit, even on his bad days.”

To support Debbie’s fundraising efforts for Scott, visit her page on GoFundMe: