Toddler regains his strength just as his devastated family chose to turn off his life support
On Good Friday 2016, the family of two-year-old Dylan Askin were faced with an impossible decision. The toddler had contracted an extremely rare type of lung cancer and his health had deteriorated to such an extent that doctors recommended that his life support was turned off.
After having their son christened on his hospital bed, Dylan's family and doctors made the heartbreaking decision to turn the machine off the following day.
However, just as they had begun the process of turning the machine off, Dylan stunned the staff and his parents at Queens Medical Hospital when he regained his strength and by Easter Sunday, the toddler was deemed to be in a stable condition.
Now a four-year-old and two years on from the ordeal, Dylan has beaten his illness and is a he is a healthy, happy child. His parents Kerry and Mike are now supporting an Easter campaign for Clic Sargent, a charity which helps young children who are dealing with cancer.
Speaking about the entire ordeal, Kerry Askin, Dylan's mom, said: "I was strong in the belief that Dylan was our Easter miracle.
"I am not massively religious, but I did think it was a miracle. When we told our eldest son, he said 'he’s like Jesus' – because he had been learning about it in school."
Dylan was rushed to hospital on Christmas Day 2015 after he had breathing problems and was found to have a collapsed lung. After further tests by specialists on the High Dependency Unit in Nottingham, it was revealed that Dylan's lungs were 80 percent covered in cysts.
As a result of the tests, the toddler was diagnosed with the one-in-ten-million diagnosis of pulmonary Langerhans cell histiocytosis (PLCH).
Despite that fact that Dylan initially recovered enough to leave intensive care, he then had a febrile seizure on his ward and contracted pneumonia that left his lungs barely able to function. This led to doctors, in agreement with Dylan's parents, to withdraw his life support.
Kerry said: "On Good Friday they told us things were looking bleak and that we weren’t going to get him back.
"All the settings on all the machines were at their highest and he was still struggling. We had him christened, all his family came from all over to say goodbye, including his big brother.
"I was devastated. I hadn’t slept for days building up to it. I was crying all the time.
"They had actually closed off part of the unit so we could both stay with him overnight because thought he could go at any minute.
"All the while we were singing to him and talking to him and saying goodbye."
But in a miraculous turn of events, just as doctors withdrew his medication and began to sedate him, Dylan's heart rate dropped to normal levels and his strength started to improve.
He was taken off life support on his parents' wedding anniversary on April 4.
Kerry said: "We just said stop, there is still fight in him. Then his oxygen levels started to pick up, and he started coming back to us.
"By Easter Sunday, he was stable enough that I felt comfortable enough to have a lie-down."
Now Dylan is home and has finished his cancer treatment.
Good luck to Dylan and his family in the future - what an incredible little man he is.