Nov 8 2012 by Shirley Bartynek, Hamilton Advertiser
A brave Lanarkshire schoolboy fighting for his life in hospital has had to have his two legs amputated.
Caden Beggan’s heartbroken parents were left with no choice but to allow surgeons at Yorkhill’s Hospital in Glasgow to go ahead with the procedure in a bid to save his life.
The six-year-old, Ladywell Primary School pupil, is battling the life-threatening disease meningococcal septicaemia.
His parents, David, formerly of Hamilton and Angela, who is originally from Tennessee in the US, set up a Facebook page to communicate Caden’s progress to concerned friends and family.
The page has attracted interest from around the world and has 18,000 followers.
David and Angela’s heartbreaking Facebook posts, detailing their sons condition, touched the hearts of parents across the world.
In a post made by Caden’s father on Tuesday he said: “Caden’s lungs were like wet sponges, filled and surrounded with excess fluid. The right chambers of his brave little heart were struggling. He had stopped passing urine and his fever was once again becoming unmanageable. The most likely cause of these new problems, and they were many, was a secondary sepsis, a possible new infection brought about by necrotic tissue in the lower extremities.
“Team Caden, prepping for theatre, were extremely concerned about the new risks these complications presented. Not least of all during a procedure involving potential amputation. After an extensive consultation, doctors decided that the benefits of surgery outweighed the risks now threatening Caden’s life. “
After Caden’s surgery that evening his father was able to update anxious friends and family with news of how his son’s procedure had gone.
He wrote: “The orthopaedic surgeon came unexpectedly to the hospital cafe where we were with family and friends. Angela and I embraced him as he told us that both of our son’s legs had been removed, the left leg above the knee, and the right leg near the top of the thigh. My head swirled a little, and for a moment I left that time and space and returned to a day in the park with my son, running and dancing in his usual boisterous fashion with his brothers - they laughed. In that moment, the nightmare was over, and I imagined teaching my son to ride his bike, swim across a pond, and watch him take the stage by storm in his first school play - it was worthy of a standing ovation.
“At the earliest opportunity following the consultant’s brief report, I ran to be by my son. I kissed him. I touched what remained of his limbs and kissed them too. I touched every part of him I could and whispered a lullaby, a Father’s song.
“I confess to struggling a little, but my dear friends but I want to also tell you of the many miracles today that my Father in Heaven did for my little boy.
“It is a miracle that Caden is with us, that he survived the night. It is a miracle that nurses and doctors stabilised him when they did, that many of you awoke with Caden on your mind at that exact time. It is a miracle that he survived the surgery when they were prepared for the worst. It could have easily been our last kiss goodbye.”
Caden’s family continue to thank everyone for their support and urge them to keep praying. A relative for the family said: “The family firmly believe that it is a miracle that Caden is still alive. It was touch and go whether Caden was able to survive the journey to the hospital at Yorkhill but more than two weeks later and his organs are still fighting on. They are extremely grateful to everyone who has shown their support to them and to Caden and to the medical staff who continually work hard each day with Caden.”
A “Think Pink for Caden” appeal has also been made in a bid to help his black limbs turn pink again.
On Wednesday workers, schools and nurseries across Lanarkshire wore pink.
Caden’s primary school took part in “Pink Wednesday” to show their support for their fellow classmate.
Pat Ashworth, headteacher at Ladywell Primary School in Motherwell explained: “Caden is never far from the thoughts of staff, parents, pupils and classmates.
“We were going to hold a small ‘pink day’ involving the children, then some parents also mentioned they wanted to make donations to Yorkhill Hospital and we felt it was appropriate. We didn’t set a target but raised more than £380 from the sale of wristbands, topped off by £340 in donations from parents and children. This is a fantastic effort for a very worthy cause.”