Henry Down’s health a Christmas miracle

Down family will get to be together during the holidays thanks to little boy's excellent response to medical treatments

Henry Down gets a lift from his dad Jo Down at the News Review’s hot dog sale in September

Jo and Alix Down are celebrating an early Christmas gift.

Their two-year-old son, Henry, is ready to go home.

“The idea of everyone being at home for Christmas is gift enough,” said Jo Down last week.

The family lives on Pender Island, but dad Jo and mom Alix were both raised in Sidney. Their friends and family on the Peninsula were stunned this summer after Henry was admitted to the B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver with a diagnosis of neuroblastoma. Henry had a 14 centimetre long, stage four tumour that doctors said had spread to different parts of his body. He started round after round of chemotherapy.

On Dec. 1, just a few days before his second birthday, he had surgery to remove the tumour.

“He was in his third day of recovery from the tumour surgery,” Down said. “We celebrated his birthday and then all the Vancouver Canucks came by the next day.”

Henry was discharged, then started a two-day round of chemotherapy on Dec. 8. Last Wednesday they got the good news that the tumour the doctors removed was 100 per cent dead, not the 95 per cent doctors had anticipated.

Still, there was the expectation Henry would need a liver surgery in the third week of January, as well as “megatherapy” chemo that would clobber his immune system and be followed up by stem cell transplant. Then the weekend came, and along with it a bit of a holiday miracle. None of the follow up is necessary.

“Henry’s medical status has been improved dramatically because of his excellent response to chemotherapy,” Down said on Saturday. “He is doing wonderfully excellent and the doctors and lead oncologist have told us that by the end of January, or thereabouts, his treatments will be over and he can come home permanently.”

Keep up with Henry’s progress join the Facebook group, I love Henry Down. Donations to the Down family can be made to Island Savings 809, Brentwood Bay branch 20000 #2174233.

reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

 

The gift of thanks

It’s not an uncommon tale when a child becomes gravely ill. Travel, meals and communication start sucking the bank account, alongside the loss of at least one income.

“We would have been in dire straits without those fundraiser events,” said Jo Down, of auctions by friends and the ****News Review hot dog sale last summer.

The gift of prepaid seaplane flights are making the trip from Pender to Vancouver easier for Down.

“I can get from my office to the hospital in less than an hour as opposed to five hours on the ferry,” he said.

Just Posted

Timelapse shows Blue Morpho chrysalis morphing at Butterfly Gardens

One of many speices of butterlflies at the Buterfly Garden

Overturned vessels, simulated smoke expected in Victoria harbour for Coast Guard exercise

Coast Guard and other first responders will be on the water from 1 - 4 p.m. Thursday

High of 15 C expected Thursday

Plus your weekend forecast

Free blood type tattoo with donation draws crowds in Finland

One in two people is eligible and able to donate blood, but only one in 60 people actually do

Greater Victoria workforce gets older but also more diverse

By 2036, Greater Victoria will have roughly two workers for every person 65 years and older

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Pot industry welcomes decreased edibles tax, but unhappy medical tax remains

Taxes can increase the cost of medical cannabis by as much as 25 per ceny

‘It has to send a message:’ Broncos families await sentencing for truck driver

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving and apologized in court

MPs continue voting marathon as Tories protest shutdown of Wilson-Raybould motion

Multiple MPs have resigned from Trudeau’s Liberal cabinet

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Most Read