In January 2013, when Luke was 5 years old and in Primary 1, he began complaining of sore legs and suffered recurring fevers. His parents took him to the doctors who treated the symptoms, however no diagnosis was made. On the 28th January 2013 Luke went to visit a specialist, who by that evening,diagnosed him with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL). Thinking the doctors would just give him some stronger antibiotics or similar, he and his family were devastated to receive a cancer diagnosis.
The following day Luke was admitted to the Queen Mary Hospital, paediatric oncology department. What followed was an barrage of needles, IV’s, bone aspirations, lumbar punctures, X-rays and an operation to insert an intravenous line into Luke’s chest to deliver future drugs. The treatment was a constant round of poison administered to help give Luke the best chance of recovery.
His parents took turns sleeping at the hospital, alternating between keeping Luke positive and spending time at home with his little sister. Keeping Luke, his sister and their own spirits high was exhausting for his parents and all involved, especially as the reality of living on a ward of sick children, all fighting their own battles, is not a happy place to be. Visitors were restricted due to the risk of infection, so Luke’s little sister could only watch from behind a glass window as her brother was treated. Luke received two years of chemotherapy, during which he suffered pain, nausea, vomiting, mood swings and hair loss, but in 2015 he received his final round of treatment.
Luke and his family have been through a journey no one would wish for, but being in Hong Kong proved to be a blessing. The family’s friends and community rallied around them, providing them with food, comfort and support when needed. The health care in Hong Kong is second to none and Luke was lucky to benefit from this, but there are many others who are less fortunate. It is because of this that Luke and his family hope to ‘pay it forward’ but supporting the Hong Kong Adventist Hospital Foundation.