The lad is battling a brain tumour and doctors feared lifesaving treatment would make him infertile. The procedure is to ensure that his ability to father Children later in the future is preserved.
Nathan Crawford, aged only nine, has emerged the first cancer patient in the whole of the United Kingdom brave enough to have his testicular tissue frozen. The lad is battling a brain tumour and doctors feared lifesaving treatment would make him infertile. The procedure is to ensure that his ability to father Children later in the future is preserved.
The young boy agreed to have groundbreaking keyhole surgery to remove a wedge of tissue from one of his testes before he started his first course of chemotherapy.
In spite of the considerable weight of having such sickness at his tender age, the boy remains upbeat about life, telling doctors, “This is great. I’d love to have my own children when I grow up. How much will it hurt? Can I go on my bike as soon as I get home?!’
Having had the surgery successfully carried out, the schoolboy is now recovering at home following the operation under general anesthetic at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
His Mum Donna Hunt, 31, said: “He’s very much looking forward to Christmas and we couldn’t be prouder of the way he has taken it all in his stride. Once he’d been up to Oxford to have the testicular tissue removed, he was back home in Cornwall within 48 hours eating fish and chips with us.”
Stepdad Jonathan Alison, obviously proud and highly supportive of his son said,“Nathan loves children and we told him this would increase the chances he can have his own. “He quite often mentions children and he is very much into children. He is over the moon if we see a baby. “He is a smart kid and has taken it very well. He is still well enough to attend school. It’s all been good so far.”
The testicular tissue freezing technique has worked in animals and is similar to ovarian tissue freezing, which has already resulted in live births for women.
The pioneering procedure could now offer hope to thousands of other cancer patients. About 1,600 new cases of the disease in youngsters aged 14 and under are diagnosed in the UK every year. About 10% of those who go through chemotherapy and radiotherapy are left infertile after the treatment.