Cian's Story

There was great concern over Cian needing immediate neurosurgery so an ambulance was called to transfer us to Children’s Hospital Boston. As we sat in Boston rush hour traffic, we honestly expected Cian might die right then in front of us – he seemed barely conscious. Little did we know at this same time, the Department of Social Services was being contacted about the suspected abuse. When we arrived at Children’s, Cian was seen by a team of clinicians while John and I were questioned, separately, about Cian’s living situation, our marriage, etc. We then had to withstand seven hours of near silence as we waited for more information. At 10:00 that night, we got the diagnosis: Neuroblastoma. We had never heard of such a disease, nor did we know that it was possible for a baby to have cancer. We actually felt relief he was not abused.

While the doctors tried to paint an optimistic picture for us, as the next days unfolded, it became clear how sick Cian truly was – cancer, at stage IV, was present in his adrenal glands, lungs, liver, bone marrow, skull bone and brain (cerebellum). Cian was started on chemotherapy immediately and within about ten days, we were certain we had our bouncing, happy Cian back – it felt like a miracle.