The family of a dying toddler had agreed that his life support should be turned off only for him to stun medical professionals by regaining his strength.
Two-year-old Dylan Askin, from Shelton Lock, Derby, had contracted an extremely rare type of lung cancer and was so poorly on Good Friday 2016, his family had him christened in his hospital bed, as doctors did not think he would survive.
Dylan’s parents and doctors had made the heartbreaking decision to have his life support machine turned off the following day. However, after the process of doing so had begun, the youngster stunned medics at the Queens Medical Hospital when he regained his strength. By Easter Sunday he was deemed to be stable.
Nearly two years on from the ordeal, Dylan has now beaten his illness and his parents Kerry and Mike are supporting an Easter campaign for Clic Sargent, a charity which helps young people with cancer.
Kerry Askin, Dylan’s Mum, said: ‘I was strong in the belief that Dylan was our Easter miracle. ‘I am not massively religious, but I did think it was a miracle. When we told our eldest son, he said “he’s like Jesus” – because he had been learning about it in school.’ On Christmas Day 2015, Dylan was rushed to Derby Royal Hospital with breathing problems and was found to have a collapsed lung. Further tests by specialists on the High Dependency Unit in Nottingham revealed his lungs were 80 percent covered in cysts. He was diagnosed with the one-in-ten-million diagnosis of pulmonary Langerhans cell histiocytosis (PLCH).
Initially, Dylan recovered enough to leave intensive care, but then had a febrile seizure on his ward and contracted bacterial pneumonia that left his lungs barely functioning. The doctors, in agreement with Dylan’s parents, started to withdraw his life support. Kerry said: ‘On Good Friday they told us things were looking bleak and that we weren’t going to get him back.
‘All the settings on all the machines were at their highest and he was still struggling. We had him christened, all his family came from all over to say goodbye, including his big brother. ‘I was devastated. I hadn’t slept for days building up to it. I was crying all the time.
‘They had actually closed off part of the unit so we could both stay with him overnight because thought he could go at any minute. ‘All the while we were singing to him and talking to him and saying goodbye.’ Miraculously though, as they withdrew his medication and began to sedate him, his heart rate dropped to normal levels and his strength improved. He was taken off life support on his parents’ wedding anniversary on April 4.
Kerry said: ‘We just said stop, there is still fight in him. Then his oxygen levels started to pick up, and he started coming back to us. ‘By Easter Sunday, he was stable enough that I felt comfortable enough to have a lie-down.’ Dylan was sent home on May 16 and on July 21, he finished his cancer treatment.