CYCLING around on his red go cart you could be mistaken for thinking that seven-year-old Ryan Caulfield McCormack had not just returned from hospital in the US having undergone months of chemotherapy and a lifesaving bone marrow transplant.
Late last year Ryan and his four-year-old brother Ethan were diagnosed with Adrenoleukodystrophy or ALD, a rare, serious, progressive, neurological and metabolic genetic disorder, which was made famous through the 1992 film ‘Lorenzo’s Oil’.
After spending nearly five months in hospital in Minnesota bravely fighting hereditary ALD, the Tramore native and son of Caroline and Jimmy made the return journey home with his family for the first time last week.
Ryan looked like he didn’t have a care in the world as he played with his twin brother Jack and his younger brother Ethan in the garden of their family home.
Ryan’s mother Caroline wiped away the tears as she spoke exclusively to the Waterford News & Star of the emotional moment when her son realised he was finally on his way home. “We were coming out the road and Ryan was sitting in the front of the car. He reached back to me, grabbed my hand, and said Mom, Mom as we drove into the driveway.”
As a result of the disease Ryan has suffered irreversible brain damage and his hearing and eyesight has been affected, but despite being on 30 tablets a day he is glad to be home.
“He knows himself he is not how he was. He expected to be exactly the same, but he is alive,” Caroline said.
See the full story in this week’s Waterford News & Star