01 June 2005

Belfast Telegraph

Amazing Pearce up and dancing after op

By Nigel Gould
01 June 2005

Pearce Gilmore, the little Ulster boy who was on death's door just two months ago, is now on his way back to full health after making amazing progress during a special programme of treatment in America, it emerged today.

Ten-year-old Pearce travelled to the United States on April 1 for a life-saving brain operation.

Since the surgery he has shown remarkable progress.

And now, as he nears the end of a follow-up six-week course of radiation therapy at the New York-based Montefiore Children's Hospital, he is continuing to defy doctors' expectations.

In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, Pearce's surgeon, Dr Rick Abbot, said: "He is doing really well. He is two- thirds the way through his radiation treatment and it has worked out better than anybody had the right to expect.

"The last time I saw him he was dancing.

"His tumour continues to shrink and with every decrease, Pearce seems to be using his body with a lot more authority.

"We are very pleased with the way things are going."

Pearce and dad, Seamus, will return home to Northern Ireland in a fortnight's time.

It is understood Pearce will require no further treatment.

The intense radiotherapy Pearce has been receiving since his operation will not only shrink the tumour, but hopefully also stop it growing again.

Recently, Dr Abbot revealed that the tumour, part of which he removed, was found to be benign.

Then, he said: "Things couldn't be any better for him.

"He is extremely well. We have relieved the pressure so the brain can work better.

"He had problems with control on the right-hand side of his body. Now his co-ordination has improved and his speech is better.

"He has found his humour again and is playing about with his family and joking around.

"He is a different kid. When he came here he was in a hole.

"Now he is in good shape."

More than £50,000 was raised by Telegraph readers not only across Northern Ireland but also overseas to send Pearce to the US.

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