Brave Roman back home from US trip

Roman Baker with his family in Florida.
Roman Baker with his family in Florida.

BILSTHORPE’S bravest boy is back home after receiving life-saving treatment in America.

Roman Baker has been battling a brain tumour near his pituitary gland since he was diagnosed with Cranopharyngioma almost a year ago.

The courageous youngster had to travel to Florida for the 10-week intensive proton therapy treatment as it is unavailable here in the UK.

Despite the treatment being funded by the NHS, a massive fundraising campaign, spearheaded by friends, family, colleagues and the community, was launched to enable the whole family to travel and be together during Roman’s treatment.

Now the family want to say a thousand thank yous to everybody who helped raise over £10,000 for the mercy mission.

“We want to say a massive thank you to all who made it possible,” said Roman’s mum, Sara and dad Adam, whose employer Glenair has been a huge support. “It’s been truly amazing and we just can’t believe how caring and generous everybody has been.

“I don’t know how we would have coped if we couldn’t have all been together.”

This was made all the more poignant as Roman had to undergo an unscheduled operation whilst in the States after an MRI scan revealed swelling on his brain.

Sara explains: “They had to reduce the fluid build up and implant a reservoir to enable any future swelling to be drained away.”

There was an extra surprise in store for the Baker family on their return to their New Road home. Their back garden had undergone a transformation thanks to the hard work of friends and family and their plans of a new bathroom realised.

“We couldn’t believe it,” said Sara. “We had bought a new bathroom suite just before the diagnosis but we haven’t had the time to install it. But thanks to Kids n Cancer UK, who funded the work, it is finally completed. And the children now have a garden they can all play in.”

The family want to pay special thanks to staff from Center Parcs, the White Post pub, Crompton View, Tracey Crosby and Abbi Taylor for all their support and everybody else who has helped along the way.

Roman is now back playing with his friends at Crompton View Primary and enjoying the garden with his brothers Ryan, nine and Isaac, one.

It is hoped that a scan scheduled for a few weeks will reveal the treatment in America a success. Roman, who is partially sighted, will have to be medicated for life because of the damage caused by the tumour but the family now have hope for the future.

“We constantly worry about every sniffle,” added Sara. “But the more time that passes since the diagnosis, the easier it is to be more positive.

“Roman is a special boy who keeps fighting no matter what - he is one of a kind.”