BRAVE: Junaid has outlived docs’ prognosis

Cape Town - The family of brave little cancer fighter, Junaid Arendse, 8, says he isn’t doing well and fear he may not see Christmas this year.

Junaid is currently at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and is no longer responding to treatment and medication, according to his heartbroken family.

On Sunday, the child was able to drink a little Fanta Orange, the first “food” he could manage to swallow and keep down in days.

Junaid looked tired and pale, his face and body swollen from the medicine that no longer has any effect on his condition.

In May 2014, Junaid was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma - a solid cancerous tumour that begins in the nerve cells of infants and young children.

In June 2015, doctors gave him just three months to live.

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The only thing that could help him at the time was topotecan, an expensive treatment not available in state hospitals.

With the help of funds raised, the little boy could afford to get the much needed meds.

The Mitchells Plain boy has defied the odds by surviving this long, but now his paternal auntie, Felicia Le Sueur, 43, says doctors have told the family to “stay close”.

She says Junaid’s health has deteriorated “shockingly” since he was admitted three weeks ago. The aunt has since given up her job as a fast food cook to look after her nephew full time.

“Seeing him like this is heartbreaking, he doesn’t eat or drink and refuses oral medication.

“He can't see clearly anymore but recognises my voice, he can’t speak anymore and just lies listlessly in bed,” says Felicia.

She says on Sunday morning, doctors called in the family as Junaid showed no signs of improvement.

“The professor treating him says Junaid is very tired, meaning it’s just a matter of time before he goes, his body is tired,” says Felicia.

She says the family is content and have made peace with losing Junaid.

“It’s the hardest thing we would ever have to do but it’s terrible to see him suffer all the time.”

His grandfather Leonard Arendse asked people to keep praying.

“We are broken but want to thank everyone for the prayers and visits,” he says.