Every time he heard the end of treatment bell on the ward rung, King’s Lynn cancer sufferer Alfie Plumb would tell his parents that he too was determined to ring it.
The sound signalled the successful end of a patient’s treatment. It duly did happen for Alfie and now the six-year-old’s parents have fundraised for end of treatment bells at QEH and West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds to enable positivity to be spread to other sufferers.
In March 2017, Alfie, who lives on the Fairstead estate with parents Michael and Emily Plumb, was diagnosed at the QEH with a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma after complaining of stomach and knee pains. He was immediately rushed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge to begin treatment.
The end of treatment bell there gave Alfie a lift as he recovered each time between six rounds of intensive chemotherapy.
For Alfie’s grandad, Mike Rowntree, the bell was a “beacon of hope”.
Emily said: “Every time you heard a child give the bell a ring it gave you inspiration and hope. And every time we walked past the bell Alfie would say to me ‘Mummy, I’m going to ring it soon.”
That longed-for moment came in July last year, four months after the youngster had been diagnosed.
Family and friends have raised more than £500 to pay for two bells and a start towards a third.
Emily added: “We hope that they give people the same hope we were given. Alfie was poorly and on morphine and ketamine but if you heard that bell ring it gave you that lift and hope that he will get through this.”
The bell in the chemotherapy room at QEH is a very welcome addition and is having the desired effect.
Matron Dawn Slack said: “It’s just very positive for patients and anything that gives them some positivity is much appreciated.
“We’re very grateful to Alfie’s family and wish him well in the future.”
The family is grateful for the support of Michael’s employer, Listers BMW, during Alfie’s illness.
Photo caption: Alfie celebrates getting to ring the end of treatment bell at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge
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