Cancer patient, 23, dubbed ‘Patient Zero’ posts moving blog about final days

When 23-year-old Reice Reilly started writing about his cancer from his hospital bed it was to show other young cancer warriors that they are not alone.

Sadly he learned he might not have much time left himself but decided to continue his chronicle called 'Patient Zero'.

Since hearing the horrifying news his family began fundraising to help him tick off at least some of his bucket list which has so far collected £1,000, Birmingham Live reports.

But he has yet to make it out of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, for long enough to fulfil simple wishes including a trip to the zoo and a day out in Blackpool with his family.

Reice said: "I started blogging as Patient Zero because I want to show people what we go through as cancer patients and show people how we feel about it.

"I also wanted to show other young people like me who are facing the same thing that they aren't alone.

"If there's one piece of advice I could give anyone right now it would be to never take things for granted.

"Live your life the way you want to live it and appreciate things like just being able to breathe."

Reice, from Acocks Green in Birmingham, has previously won the fight against cancer in his blood as a child but it returned when he was 18.

The teen was then given a stem cell transplant but his immune system has begun to attack his body and has now reduced his lung function.

His ability to breathe is now quickly deteriorating and he also has difficulty swallowing. The cancer has seen his weight plummet by seven stone.

Reice said: "I was first diagnosed with a form of cancer called Congenital Euryphrophagocytosis when I was just five weeks old.

"I don't remember when I had the all clear for that, I just remember growing up without it and it came back when I was 18 and I started the fight again.

"They gave me a transplant but the medication hasn't worked and now it's damaging my lungs.

"I was told a while back that I wouldn't have much longer to live so I was prepared for the worst but I survived it and I thought I was getting better.

"Now that I know that's not going to happen…. I'm more prepared than most people would be."

Reice was rushed to hospital while visiting his sister in  Cheltenham  and stayed there for a month before being transferred to the QE in his home city.

He spent three months in the YPU as  hospital staff  worked hard to make him comfortable enough to return home.

He spent his 23rd birthday in the hospital surrounded by his loved ones, with a cake inspired by his favourite football team,  Birmingham City Football Club.

He already knew that doctors couldn't give him a timeframe for how long he may have.

With that in mind, Reice tried hard to get strong enough to leave hospital and get items ticked off his bucket list with his family.

But he was discharged for less than a week before he was readmitted. Since then he has been discharged and readmitted five times, with one of them only lasting for 12 hours.

He's been told that because of the time of year and his weakened immune system he will be more prone to infections but all he wants is to be out for long enough to do something from his  bucket list.

He continued: "I did a bucket list last time but I didn't put as much thought into it as what I'm doing now I know there's no chance of me getting better.

"There's nothing in particular I want to do before I die, I just want to make memories with my family.

"I have little cousins and I want them to grow up  remembering  who I am."

It hasn't all been doom and gloom in the hospital though.

While spending time in the YPU he became friends with  musician and fellow cancer patient, Pete Felton.

The 26-year-old had similar news about his cancer treatment and has since gone travelling with his wife to see as much of the world before his time comes as part of his 'Not Dead Yet' bucketlist.

Reice said that becoming friends with Pete made him feel less isolated and follows his travel updates on their  Facebook page.

He said: "I met this lad called Pete, we got really close. He was just like me, he was told his treatment wasn't working so he's stopped it and gone travelling with his wife.

"It was great meeting Pete, just to have someone around who knew what I was going through.

"He's been lucky enough to get out and enjoy his final days. I've not been out of hospital long enough yet."

Reice's doctors recently made the decision to move him to a hospice to make the transition home easier for him and hopefully give him the chance to make happy memories with his family and friends.

Reice was allowed home for five days before he was readmitted and has since been in and out a few more times – a frustration he wrote about  on his blog.

"I feel like reaching breaking point. No matter what I do I find myself always back in hospital," he said.

"I don't know whether it's the cold weather or my immune system but I cant go anywhere with being sick.

"I managed a whole thirty-two hours out of hospital this time and now I'm back in. I just cant get comfortable anywhere. Something needs to change."

To read more about Patient Zero head over to his Facebook page or give to Reice's Bucket List Fund z. 

Any funds left unused upon Reice's death will be given to the  Teenage Cancer Trust.

Source: Read Full Article