Christmas wish for a family day spent at home

Jessica Holmes visiting Father Christmas at Barton Grange Garden Centre.
Jessica Holmes visiting Father Christmas at Barton Grange Garden Centre.

Despite her family twice being told she would not survive the night, brave tot Jessica Holmes is getting ready for a happy Christmas at home.

Three-year-old Jessica, from Catterall, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in October, 2013, and has been battling the disease ever since.

But in February parents Mandy and Bob were told to prepare for the worst when their daughter contracted pneumonia and three lung infections.

She was put in to an induced coma at Manchester Children’s Hospital and spent three week in an intensive care unit, with her organs shutting down.

But amazingly the brave tot fought back and will now be spending the Christmas it was feared she would not reach at home with her family. Mum Mandy, who has three other daughters, and a son from a previous marriage said: “Hopefully we are going to be at home for Christmas but you don’t know what’s going to happen day to day.

“We are just going to carry on how we are, she is doing fine at the moment.

“My daughters are coming over for the day and we are just going to stay at home and have a family day.”

Jessica currently endures three different types of chemotherapy, one daily, one weekly and one every 12 weeks which is injected in to her spine.

She also has physiotherapy to help her muscles which have been damaged from the intense treatment, and wears leg splints to help her walk.

But despite her condition, Jessica, who has asked Father Christmas for a flashing yo-yo, will be like any other child come Christmas morning, hoping her wish has come true.

Mandy said: “Jessica is very caring about other people and always puts other people first.

“When I took her to see Father Christmas the first thing she said to him was that Dylan her brother wanted Xbox games and I said no, tell him what you want. She always just wants to help others.”

Like other families the New Year brings a new calendar which for Jessica’s parents will be used to tick off the days until their daughter’s treatment is over, which will hopefully be in April 2016.

Mandy said: “Of all the things that have happened to her over the past 14 months she has never once complained.

“We have counted 35 more trips to the hospital and six more lumbar punctures if she keeps on as she is now, so we are just counting down the days. We are proud of anything and everything she does.”

Jessica’s family are now trying to raise money for child friendly hospital screens in Manchester Hospital’s ICU unit and raise money for cancer treatment centre CLIC Sargent. To support the cause please go to https://www.facebook.com/jessicaholmesfamilyfund