Inspirational four-year-old girl rings hospital bell after winning two year battle with leukemia
It's heartbreaking to see anyone suffer from cancer, but imagine if you were forced to watch your two-year-old child go through it. That's what happened when Holly Hughes was diagnosed with leukaemia just before her second birthday, kickstarting an emotional two-year struggle for her and her parents.
Thankfully, Holly - now four years old - was recently given the all-clear from doctors. However, when her parents, Christina and Chris opened up about her illness to Coventry Live, it became clear just how difficult the last two years had been.
Speaking of how his and Christina's world fell apart when they learn their toddler had cancer, Chris, from Rugby, told the newspaper: "We found about just before her second birthday. I was away in America and Christina, my fiancé, phoned me to say Holly was misbehaving. We didn't think anything of it but when I came back, we noticed she looked pale. We finally got diagnosed, and she had six to eight weeks to live if she didn't have medication."
He continued: "I remember my whole world crashing and I wanted the world to swallow us up. I couldn't describe it. It took so long to sink in, and it left me angry and upset. We got it together and asked how to deal with it and said what is the treatment - lets go."
In addition, Chris spoke of how quickly his little girl had to grow up when she become sick. "At the start, because she was so young, she was so upset," he said. "She grew up so quickly and she was fantastic. She is bright as a button, and was always smiling. The NHS was amazing, and the doctors and nurses who got to know her were just incredible."
Everyone was ecstatic when Holly - who had chemo every day for two years, and was also put to sleep to have injections in her spine -recently reached the end of her treatment. This included the NHS staff who lined the corridors of Coventry's University hospital to see her ring the 'end of treatment bell'.
The beautiful moment, which was caught on film, showed the four-year-old wearing a white floral dress and walking hand-in-hand with her parents while everyone claps as she passes through. She eventually reaches the bell, takes the hand of a nurse, and after rings the bell with a big smile on her face, knowing that her struggle is finally over.
Holly's mum Christina spoke to Coventry Live about the "surreal" feeling of it all being over, saying: "If I had of known back then she would be okay, it would have been better, but you just have to hope. It was really scary. It will be strange now not giving her any medication every day. It will take a while for it to sink in. We didn't expect so many people to be at the ringing of the bell."
Congratulations Holly on getting better! What a fighter!