Teenage cancer sufferer Kayti Spargo is looking forward to flying home after undergoing 10 weeks of revolutionary treatment in the United States.
The 16-year-old, a pupil of Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School, has had intense proton beam therapy in Florida after a tumour was discovered behind her nose in September.
Her proton treatment, which finished a week ago, caused a severe rash and her ears, throat and mouth became more painful with every session. Kayti surprised medical staff by refusing painkillers but she had to start using a feeding tube when eating and swallowing became too difficult.
She has also now had her last draining chemotherapy session in America and is looking forward to flying home with mum Lynda, who stayed with her throughout her treatment in Jacksonville. They’re due to arrive back in the UK next week, returning to their home in Melton Mowbray.
Dad Nick, a firefighter, said: “Kayti can’t wait to get home. The treatment has definitely been taking its toll on her. She’s very homesick and very down. But she’s had the treatment she needed and we now have to wait six weeks before she can have a scan which will tell us how successful it has been.”
Kayti, who has a rare form of cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma, has kept in touch with her father, brother Daniel and sister Charlotte with regular Skype Internet telephone chats and via Facebook.
She was selected as one of only one per cent of NHS cancer patients who are sent abroad for proton beam treatment, which targets tumours more accurately than radiotherapy.
Mr Spargo said: “The treatment is very draining. Kayti is sleeping 15 or 20 hours a day.
“It’s a real boost for her to chat to family and friends although with the time difference she’s been talking to school friends at two or three o’clock in the morning.”
Family and friends have been busy organising fund-raising events for a dream holiday for Kayti in either Italy or Sweden. They have so far generated more than £4,000.
Mr Spargo said: “We’re really grateful for all the money people have raised for Kayti. We’re really looking forward to having her back home now.”
To find out more about the fund-raising initiative and how you can help, visit www.kaytispargo.com