Little Tommy’s Big Battle

by Rose Barrett
0 comment

Rose Barrett

Tommy Grant celebrated his third birthday last Sunday as his loving parents grappled with the fact that their little boy is suffering froma a rare blood cancer normally found in people over 70.

The youngest child of Roisín and Paul Grant, the toddler loves Paw Patrol, animals and chocolate milk and is so looking forward to Santa this Christmas.

Just before Halloween, Tommy was brought to hospital with croup after a series of other illnesses. When he didn’t recover at home as expected, his mother Roisín knew something was wrong and she took him for further tests.

It was the doctors at Drogheda Hospital who saw how serious and life threatening his condition was, and feared it was Leukaemia.

Read more in this weeks Dublin Gazette out in stores now

The Ratoath boy spent two days at Temple Street ICU  in Dublin before moving across the city to Crumlin Children’s Hospital. After multiple tests and a bone marrow check, Roisín and Paul were given the devastating news: Tommy had Acute Myloid Leukaemia (AML).

“Because Tommy seemed so well and seemed to having just normal viruses, his condition went undetected for longer than it should,” said dad Paul.

Tommy spent over five weeks in the ICU in Crumlin, on and off a ventilator hooked up to multiple drips of antibiotics and drugs.

“It’s a very rare type of AML cancer he has,” added Paul. “It’s normally only found in elderly people, seventy years and over and there are only three cases of children with it in Ireland.

“Now he is part of a worldwide clinical trial. He responded well to the first round of chemotherapy and was scheduled for his second chemotherapy this week but on Tuesday morning, he had to undergo a tracheostomy procedure. Chemotherapy will resume when he has recovered.”

At three years of age, Tommy has defied the odds already, having fought so many infections including streptococcal pneumonia, RSV and sepsis.

Little Tommy with his sister Shannon before he became ill

Paul’s sister Nicola started a GoFundMe page to help the parents dedicate and divide their time to Tommy in hospital, while the other parent maintains a regular schedule for the other siblings Eoghan (9), Leon (8), sister Shannon (6) and big brother Eric (19),

“We are blessed with great support from Roisin’s family and mine, our friends and neighbours – the support has been overwhelming,” said Paul. “We really appreciate all the messages, good will and support.

“Ratoath College is hosting a sponsored walk on Friday morning; the TY students are organising a candy cane sale in aid of Tommy, Aoibheann’s Pink Tie and the Irish Cancer Society. The local gardai are giving escort. Big thanks to Nicola for setting up the GFM page and to all the staff in the ICU unit in Crumlin.”

A very special treat for the Grant family was a recent weekend stay at the Ronald McDonald House in Crumlin, and were all by Tommy’s bedside when he woke up on Sunday, to celebrate his birthday.

“It was so joyful for Tommy and his siblings, they hadn’t seen him for six weeks – a very, emotional, happy day.

If you’d like to support Tommy’s Leukaemia Fundraiser, go to


After less than a week, almost €10,500 has been achieved of a €15,000 target. A hearty thanks from Nicola to all who’ve supported to date: “Your help and support, no matter how small, will make a real difference.”




Related Articles