Brave little Archie’s family in Harrogate keep up the fight with smiles and hope
The Harrogate mother of brave little Archie Flintoft who requires blood transfusions every three weeks to stay alive has thanked the community for supporting Archie’s Army charity campaign - even as the five-year-old faces a new medical challenge.
Vicky Flintoft said she was immensely grateful for the donations still coming in as Archie’s family continues to raise funds for DBA, the national charity which delivers support, research and hope to patients with the rare condition of Diamond Blackfan anaemia.
Just this week, Vicky received a cheque for £500 from a small business in Bilton - typical of the kindness people are showing to their campaign.
Vicky, 39, said: “The Barber on Church Avenue has been fundraising on behalf of Archie’s Army throughout 2020 and are continuing this year. They have so far managed to raise and amazing £500 despite the coronavirus pandemic and having to be closed on several occasions.”
Such individual displays of generosity have helped lift the spirits of Vicky, dad Dean, daughter Holly and Archie himself after the latest piece of challenging news on their incredible little boy’s health.
Just as the five-year-old was about to face his 69th blood transfusion next week, Archie’s family were told of a potential new complication.
Vicky said: “Unfortunately a recent scan showed that iron loading in his liver had gone up so we are trialing him on a new medication to see if that helps.
“But this medication can also inflame the liver so we need to see if his body can tolerate it.
"It’s a huge balancing act.
"But, apart from that, Archie is still a lively, typical five-year old-boy.”
Proud parents Vicky and Dean have faced many setbacks since the day their beautiful baby boy had to be taken to the doctors at just ten weeks old.
They, like many others, had never heard of DBA at that point.
Since then, Archie has had to endure regular blood transfusions because his bone marrow fails to produce red blood cells. But this, in turn, can lead to a build-up of iron in his body that could prove fatal if it isn’t treated.
As well as being an extremely painful process, it, too, has the side-effect of causing adrenal insufficiency as a result of the steroid therapy, which again, can be life-threatening.
The remarkable thing throughout this is that both Archie and his whole family, who live in Bilton, have remained impressively positive.
Vicky said: “To look at Archie you would never know there was anything wrong with him.
“Before a transfusion he is unsettled and bad tempered, but once he has that good blood in him the happy, lively little boy who loves cuddles is back. Blood changes everything for Archie - It is literally his lifeline.”
The inspirational Archie may be known for his happy smiles but, thanks to Archie’s Army, set up by his parents two years ago to organise fundraising events for DBA UK, he has become a figurehead for spreading awareness of a condition so rare it is estimated it affects just 125 people in the UK.
When, last December, the NHS Blood and Transplant service launched a Christmas appeal to donors to give blood, Archie became the national campaign’s poster boy.
Vicky said: “Before Archie I thought blood was only needed in emergencies.
“Now I know there are many people like him with life-threatening conditions who depend on blood all year round.
“I cannot put my gratitude for blood donors into words.
“Without them, my son wouldn’t have left hospital as a baby.”
Despite their wonderful attitude and Archie’s own cheery character, the family is fighting a battle that never ends.
At the moment doctors are concerned that Archie has needed a lot more blood than last year.
The treatments and transfusions, medical investigations and tests, hospital visits and scans are on-going but hope also lives on.
Vicky said: “It hasn’t been easy, we’ve had some huge blows but some great positives, too. I’ve learnt to roll with the curve balls that DBA throws at us.
“Whatever happens we will face it head on and do the best we can for our little man, our brilliant Archie.”
How you can help Archie's Army
To support Archie’s Army, search for Archies Army at https://uk.gofundme.com/
For more information, visit: http://diamondblackfan.org.uk/
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