Setback for little superhero Gavin's cancer recovery

By Fiona Gribben

THE parents of brave four-year-old Gavin Glynn have said their little superhero's recovery in an American hospital has suffered a setback.

John and Jayne Glynn said: "So much can happen in the space of a few hours and days. After our last update of Gavin walking in the hospital he became unwell."

Gavin, from Greystones, Co Wicklow, was transferred to the intensive care unit of the MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston, Texas, where he is being treated for an extremely rare form of cancer, Rhabdomyosarcoma.

"His tummy became swollen again and we didn't know why. The medical team checked Gavin and found that there was a problem with one of the tubes that was draining the urine from his bladder," his parents wrote on Facebook.

"This caused a build-up of urine back into his urethra and then spilled out through a small tear into his stomach."

The pressure caused Gavin to have difficulty breathing, resulting in a build-up of fluid in his lungs.

Over the past week, Gavin has had a series of procedures to drain fluid from his stomach and lungs.

He also underwent a procedure on Saturday called a nephrostomy, which removed urine from his kidneys in the hope of giving his stomach and urethra time to heal.

His parents described his condition at the weekend as "comfortable".

"It has been a rollercoaster week for us and not something we or anyone thought would happen, but it did," they said.

"But we hope we are over the worst of it now, so back to Gavin's recovery and building him back up and walking again."

The news has come as a huge disappointment following the success of a recent major operation which was hailed a miracle procedure.

On July 9, Gavin underwent a gruelling 12-hour open surgery to remove tumours.

In past posts the Glynn family have thanked the public for their support after their €350,000 fundraising target to get the potentially life-saving eight-week treatment under way was reached within one week.