The UK’s youngest patient to ever be treated using a pioneering NHS cancer therapy right here in Manchester is celebrating a milestone anniversary this week.
Teddy Slade – who lives in Stockport, and has recently celebrated his fourth birthday – was just 18 months old when he was diagnosed with a rare and “terrifying” brain tumour that left his family “devastated”, but after he underwent surgery to remove the tumour, he was given a pioneering form of treatment named proton beam therapy at the then newly-opened centre at The Christie in Manchester for six and half weeks.
Proton beam therapy is a specialist form of radiotherapy that targets cancers very precisely by increasing success rates and reducing side effects, according to NHS England, which makes it an ideal treatment for certain cancers in children who are at risk of lasting damage to organs that are still growing.
The therapy has been funded on the NHS since 2008, but patients previously had to go abroad to get their treatment, and it was only when The Christie’s £125 million centre opened in late 2018, that patients could be treated in the UK.
Teddy was officially the youngest patient in the country to be treated at the UK’s first NHS high energy centre at The Christie.
And now, it’s a very different story.
Now, three years after the groundbreaking therapy was made available on the NHS in England, Teddy only requires regular check-ups to monitor his progress, and is described as being “a funny, little, cheerful character” who is enjoying pre-school, and living a full and normal life.
Reflecting back on her son’s shocking diagnosis and how far he’s come, Teddy’s mum, Amy Slade, said: “It was a huge shock when Teddy was diagnosed as he was so young and to be told he had a brain tumour was absolutely heartbreaking.
“But the staff at The Christie are amazing [and] the proton beam centre is a place of hope.
“The care that Teddy, and the support our whole family received there, was first-class, and we are so very lucky to have this life-saving medical technology in Manchester”.
Gillian Whitfield – Teddy’s consultant at The Christie – added: “It is great to see Teddy doing so well and we were thrilled to be able to help him here at The Christie.
“Being able to give patients like Teddy this vital proton beam therapy in the UK is fantastic, as it not only reduces the side effects of treatment, but also means families don’t have to travel abroad as many did before the NHS opened the centre here in Manchester”.
“Since Teddy first received proton beam therapy treatment at The Christie, over 700 patients in the UK, including 300 children, have benefitted from this pioneering treatment in the NHS,” revealed Dame Cally Palmer, NHS England’s National Cancer Director.
“This is a major milestone for the NHS,” she added.
“It marks the completion of our plans to deliver proton beam therapy in the UK and transform cancer treatment across the country”.
The NHS Long Term Plan aims to save thousands more lives each year by dramatically improving diagnosis and treatment of cancer, and by 2028, the NHS hopes that 55,000 more people each year will survive for five years or more following their cancer diagnosis.
Featured Image – The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
The UK could be at risk of a roast potato shortage this Christmas
Ok, we don’t mean to alarm you but, according to the latest reports, Christmas dinner plates could be at risk of scrimping on a major component as there is a threat of a roast potato shortage this holiday season.
Please, for the love of all things holy and festive, no — we’ll do anything protect our roasties and gravy.
While there’s often talk of supermarket shortages and supply problems when it comes to the busiest time of year, it seems that the Great British potato-loving people might genuinely have to cut back on the amount of roast spuds we were intending over the next few months due to recent storms.
Following what has already gone down as one of the toughest harvest on record, the yield of potato crops have been hit hard by the ‘Autumn washout’, with fields being waterlogged by the likes of Storm Babet, Ciarán, Debi and more, meaning that farmers have been unable to harvest lots of their produce.
Farmer James Lacey explained how there is around £200,000 worth of potatoes that he and his team simply can’t harvest and that they are struggling to hold on to those already pulled out, as even such sturdy vegetables as potatoes just “don’t like this kind of weather and aren’t storing very well”.
This is just the story of farmer’s plot of land too; unfortunately, current figures project that roughly 20% of this autumn’s potato crop has been flooded and will likely be unsalvageable, with the majority of rotting spuds only fit for animal feed.
Although the figures are still unclear, it is estimated that the latest potato crop is tipped for a record low of 4.1 milllon tonnes — for context, on average and in their various forms, Brits eat around 250m potatoes at Christmas every year.
Sadly, it doesn’t stop there either as due to the almost unprecedented rainfall over the last few months and back-to-back storms, combined with the increasingly frosty conditions now creeping across the UK, the likes of broccoli, carrots, parnsips are all under threat.
As a result, retailers are already being forced to supplement their supplies from cold storage which, obviously, isn’t endless.
With shortages of different vegetables are increasing week upon week and as well as the impact it is having in restaurants already, the knock-on effect it may have on supermarkets with people raiding the freezers to get frozen roasties at the ready just in case could be massive.
The recent miserable weather isn’t getting any better either as the North West is one of many regions that has been hit by a cold snap this week, with the Met Office and UKHSA issuing an amber health alert.
New survey reveals one in six Brits would rather have a curry than a Christmas dinner
One in six Brits would apparently rather have a curry on Christmas Day in place of a traditional roast dinner, a new survey has revealed.
With December just a few days away now, it won’t be long before we all sit down to tuck into what is always one of the biggest and heartiest meals of the whole year – but, if the results of a new survey is anything to go by, for a good chunk of Brits, this year’s Christmas feast won’t be the typical roast turkey that tradition’s always called for.
Instead, one in six would rather stray off the beaten track and opt for an Indian instead.
After a shocking survey by Next revealed last year that more than 12 million Brits think Yorkshire puddings belong with your Christmas dinner, around 1,000 UK adults have been polled by instatprint this time around to discover what’s making it on the festive feasting plate in just a few weeks time.
And, as to be expected, some weird and wonderful food combinations feature on the list, with over a third of Brits apparently planning on having sausages instead of the usual Christmas meats, and chips and beans also seem to be on the menu for the fussier eaters among us too.
Chicken nuggets, eggs, caviar, goat’s cheese, haggis, and chimichurri were some of the other rogue choices given by some of the survey respondents.
Then, when it comes to the accompanying sides to the main event, 11% even revealed they plan on tucking into some macaroni cheese with their Christmas dinner this year, with another 11% sharing that mushy peas are a must on their plate too.
17% of Brits will be enjoying mustard, 13% will be squirting ketchup on their roast, and 7% will apparently be enjoying a dollop of mayonnaise too.
But while some clearly like to freestyle their Christmas dinner and pop whatever they fancy on the plate, others are apparently ditching the norm all together, as the survey has revealed that only half of Brits are set on having their traditional Christmas dinner this year.
As mentioned, almost one in six would much rather tuck into an Indian curry, but not only that, 6% of us would rather have a Chinese, 5% would enjoy Mexican, and another 5% would opt for tapas if it was an option too.