I’ve been a teacher for almost ten years now and a form tutor for the whole time. My tutees have given me the kind of challenges and joy you’d expect and are warned of in training: ‘Miss, the condom broke’, being taken into care, self harming, being made prefects, smoking, volunteering for charity work, breaking bones, appendectomies and so on. Eighteen months ago things took a different turn when one of my gorgeous girls was diagnosed with leukaemia, we’d had a term of weird bruises, passing out, random illnesses running into it. She was straight into hospital to start chemo, and trying to explain this to 29 yr10s just starting their GCSE track, was difficult. At that age teenagers believe they are immortal, death and serious illness happens to old people. The school mentors were on hand for them, there were a few questions about will the treatment hurt and how bad could it be. As my best friend has done it twice, I told them the minimum. We did cards for her and gave them regular updates, 4 months later she was out and starting her return to school. We didn’t tell them the first day and the looks on their faces when they walked in was a joy.
5 months later the leukaemia returned, she was more upset about having caught up all the school work she has missed than being ill again. It hit them all harder this time, one of the girls decided to donate her hair to Little Princess Trust and our end of year charity day went to the fund to redecorate her ward. This time they decided to transplant and found a rare 10 point match. Chemo went well and they transplanted in November. Things were looking up and likely to be coming home by Christmas. Pneumonia hit for the holidays and they put her in a coma to treat it, then again things improved. Tuesday night the nurse called the family to come in immediately, the transplant had failed, a massive lung infection had taken hold and they weren’t sure she’d last the night. Last night the Head rang me and I knew before he said it. My gorgeous, funny, hardworking, spending her free time raising money for charities, girl had died, just weeks after her 16th birthday.
Sorry to dump on here but I’m struggling to understand why.