12 January 2006

Pearce Gilmore: 'Walking miracle' boy back at school

Belfast Telegraph

Telegraph readers funded vital op

By Nigel Gould
12 January 2006

The little Northern Ireland boy who flew to America for a life-saving brain operation funded by generous Belfast Telegraph readers is now back at school - and continuing to amaze with his remarkable powers of recovery.

Nearly nine months after vital surgery in New York, Pearce Gilmore's proud dad Seamus revealed the youngster's state of health is now back to normal.

"He has returned to school," Seamus said.

"At the moment he is going three days a week but this will soon be increased to five.

"He is doing brilliantly and coping really well at school.

"Every day he continues to amaze me with his progress."

Seamus also said that new scans had revealed the tumour on Pearce's brain was continuing to shrink dramatically.

"The fact that it is doing this is out of this world," he said. "As far as everyone is concerned Pearce is back to normal. He enjoys a normal life. He loves to watch DVDs and riding around on his electric scooter.

"Pearce has amazed everyone - I am continually amazed by his progress."

After his operation last April, Seamus called his son "a walking miracle".

Pearce arrived back in Northern Ireland in early June after more than two months in the US for treatment. Since then the 10-year-old has gone from strength to strength.

This time last year, Seamus expressed grave concern that Pearce might not live to see his 10th birthday.

Paediatric surgeon Dr Rick Abbot, from the New York-based Montefiore Children's Hospital, answered a global SOS call and said he could help the youngster after being sent scans of the tumour.

In February 2005, the Belfast Telegraph helped launch the Pearce Fund.

And within days the money poured in from all over the UK - with calls and offers of support coming throughout the world.

The Telegraph is still getting calls from well-wishers about Pearce's condition.

Eventually, more than £50,000 was raised.

Seamus added: "Things could not be any better at the moment."

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