Jamies Story

Jamie's Story...

Jamie was a little boy who faced a great deal of trauma in his short life. At just three years old he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Lueukaemia (ALL). As parents, we were shocked to learn that the treatment for this was to be continuous chemotherapy on a daily basis over a three year period. Chemotherapy can be administered in various forms, by injection, intravenously and orally. Jamie's treatment involved the insertion of a "portocath" this is basically a line inserted surgically below the armpit which then is pushed upwards and inserted into the jugular vein and then down into the heart. This has to stay in place for the duration of the treatment as there is a large amount of intravenous medication placed through it.

As parents, we felt completely helpless as we watched our little boy suffer through his treatment. Many surgical procedures became the norm, including lumbar punctures and bone marrow biopsies (taken from the spine and hip joints). Hair loss is a common and well known side effect of the drugs administered but Jamie also suffered from severe leg and joint pains and ulceration of the mouth and the stomach, both of which are common.

Some children also have to endure severe, uncrontrollable mood swings and hunger cravings which are induced by high dosage steroids used to combat the effects of chemotherapy. When you see your young child going through all this it breaks your heart, often we would have to sign for procedures we knew were going to be painful for Jamie, but were our only option.

Sadly, on December 20th 2003, the doctors who were treating Jamie told us what we already suspected, that Jamie's cancer had returned despite him still receiving chemotherapy.

On Christmas day (which was Jamie's fifth birthday) we were transferred from Llandough hospital to high dependency at University Hospital Wales, as Jamie was suffering heart failure due to the drugs he was now having to take to combat his illness.

Jamie fought on with typical tenacity as he had done for the two years he had undergone treatment, but sadly on the 13th January 2004 he suffered a seizure and slipped into a coma. The doctors told us that he contracted meningitis as a result of having a severely depleted immune system, and Jamie passed away in my wife’s arms on 20th January 2004 back at Llandough hospital.

It isn’t easy relaying these events, but after initially falling to pieces, and being supported by my wife and older son Sam (who has been amazing even though he is grieving the loss of his younger brother) I decided it should not be for nothing that Jamie passed away.....

The Jam Fund..
To that end the Jam Fund was established. Our aim is to raise as much as possible to help children in Wales and throughout the UK who are suffering from this awful illness. In the first twelve months, thanks entirely to the generosity of the public, we managed to raise £43,000. The total now (May 2006) stands at £47,500. We have already donated £30,000 of this, fifteen to each of two charities we support – LATCH (based at the children’s hospital for Wales) and CHILDREN WITH LEUKAEMIA (based at Great Ormond Street London) This leaves us with a little over £17,000 and we hope to reach £40,000 again this year which we will use to purchase a top level static caravan holiday home. This will be named “The Jamie Adamson Caravan” and sited in the Tenby area of West Wales. We hope to offer this facility free of charge to children in Wales and the UK who are suffering from ANY life threatening illness or condition and also to any family bereaved through the loss of a child.

The pictures you see here of Jamie show you his nature, he was a very happy little boy despite all he suffered. This is typical of all the children we were honoured to meet in our two years in the children’s cancer unit. If you want to see all that is good about the human spirit, refer to these children, they are truly amazing and deserve our support.

We hope you will feel able to help us, leukaemia kills more children in Wales and the UK than any other disease, and although thanks to medical advances cure rates are improving, alarmingly so is the frequency of new cases. This is a this is a charity based in Wales but helping all children in the UK (OUR children) so please, please help in any way you can.

I’m just a dad who had to watch as my son passed away after enduring more than I ever could with a smile and a lot of love. Please help us to spare others the same experience, we hope to fund research as well. I left my own pride behind when Jamie passed away and will ask anyone to help in any way possible, but my pride in my family is immeasurable.

Many thanks for taking the time to read this, I hope you will help make Jamie’s death a little less in vain. Paul Adamson