April 30th, 2015 was a life-changing day for Davis’s family. Davis came home from the bus stop with lots of pain in his stomach. His abdomen was distended and his parents noticed a couple of unusual bruises, so they took him to his pediatrician for a checkup. They got a call a few hours later that Davis needed to be checked out immediately. Initial symptoms pointed to leukemia.
The family was instructed to pack their bags and head to the hospital that night. Davis was admitted on a Wednesday evening, and after a bone marrow biopsy confirmed the leukemia diagnosis, his treatment plan began on a Friday morning. “We were amazed at how quick and decisive the staff and doctors were at ushering Davis forward from diagnosis to treatment,” says his mom, Ashley.
Davis stayed in the hospital for nine nights; a much shorter time than initially expected. “This was our first experience in the hospital with any of our children,” noted Ashley. “During this time, Davis had a port placed in his chest, a CT scan, several doses of chemotherapy, and a few blood and platelet transfusions. We encountered numerous doctors, nurses and staff members during these first few days, and all of them were wonderful, compassionate, and sensitive to Davis’s needs.”
Davis left the hospital two days before his seventh birthday. He was on a heavy dose of steroids for the first month, and felt pretty bad for most of May. But his mood and energy started to slowly come back in early June, and fortunately, other than an eight-day hospital stay for a port infection, Davis has, to date, stayed healthy and has avoided additional hospitalization. He and his family spent the summer going to the pool, having friends over, taking golf cart rides, and playing their fair share of the Xbox.
Davis also was fortunate to be able to go to the Lookouts game on May 30th, where the Austin Hatcher Foundation had arranged for him to throw out the first pitch. It was a very special night that Davis and his family will never forget, as many of his friends came out to support him.
The big hurdle Davis faced during his frontline leukemia treatment was an allergic reaction to a chemotherapy drug. Doctors prescribed an alternative therapy, however it had to be administered much more often. As a result, Davis went about 30 additional times to the clinic for treatment. Ashley said, “Through those long days, the staff at the clinic was great and, again, sensitive to the fact that he was coming in a lot, and did everything they could to make him comfortable and entertained. Davis has had a wonderful attitude through this difficult time in his life, taking it all in stride, including the loss of his hair, which did not bother him at all.”