Archie Wilks is on the mend after contracting coronavirus while getting his cancer treatments in late March

By Rachel DeSantis
April 17, 2020 05:01 PM
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Credit: PA Images

The parents of a 4-year-old cancer patient in England are feeling immense relief after he contracted — and has now recovered from — coronavirus.

Archie Wilks was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in January 2019, and has been undergoing chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments since, the BBC reported.

He tested positive for coronavirus in late March after developing a fever and a cough, according to a Facebook page called Archie’s Journey.

“Especially having a child that classed as extremely vulnerable, we were really worried about how he was going to cope with it if he got it,” mom Harriet told the BBC.

Though his family, including dad Simon and twin brother Henry, was a bit surprised by the diagnosis, as his symptoms were similar to those he experiences with his treatment, they hunkered down at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

“We were quite used to hospitals, but we were quite shacked in the room together for six days. We weren’t able to leave the room at all, so that was a slightly different experience,” Simon told the BBC. “But all the nurses made it really, really bearable, they made it as easy as possible for us.”

The family wrote on the Facebook page that they were “99 percent” sure Henry, Harriet and Simon had contracted the virus as well, and on April 1, the family went back to their home in Saffron Walden, Essex to isolate.

By April 8, Archie no longer needed oxygen at night, and appeared to be in the clear.

“It’s definitely a weight lifted off knowing that he has coped quite well,” Harriet told the BBC.

Archie’s inspiring story has made the rounds in the British media, and on Friday, he received a special video call from Harry Kane, his favorite soccer player, on Good Morning Britain.

“Hi Archie. Great to hear you’re feeling better and on the mend,” said Kane, a player for the Tottenham Hotspurs and the captain of the England national team. “You’re a strong boy. Just keep listening to the doctors, nurses and your parents. I hear you and your twin brother Henry love to play football, so keep playing in the garden, stay at home and I wish you all the best.”

Meanwhile, the Wilks and others have been raising money for Archie to participate in a vaccine trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

The trial could reduce the chance of a relapse once Archie is in remission, as children who successfully complete neuroblastoma treatment still have a 50 percent chance of relapse, and the second time around, the survival rate is just 10 percent, according to a Just Giving page.

As of Friday afternoon, there have been 108,692 cases and 14,576 deaths attributed to coronavirus in the U.K., according to The New York Times.

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