For six weeks Ty Doucette battled an ear infection that three different antibiotics did not cure. As he kept getting sicker and sicker, his moms Dianna and Nichole knew that there had to be more going on. On May 23, 2019, their world changed when Ty was diagnosed with a form of cancer called Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), which is rare in a child his age. He was immediately airlifted to IWK Health for urgent care and treatment.
The following day, Ty had surgery to place a Hickman Line in his chest. During this procedure, he also had a spinal tap, chemotherapy and a bone marrow biopsy. What was supposed to be an hour and a half surgery turned into a five-hour procedure that left Ty’s moms worried and anxious. The tests confirmed what they had feared -- he had leukemia cells in his spinal fluid. Ty’s doctor informed his moms that he had a lot of cancer in his little body and would need aggressive chemotherapy for at least six months to battle it.
Ty began his first round of chemotherapy on May 26. He received multiple doses of three different types of chemotherapy every day and was anesthetized every four days for a lumbar puncture for spinal fluid chemotherapy. It took 54 days for Ty to recover and on July 17, Ty’s moms were thrilled to learn he was in remission. Despite this, he still needed to complete his last four rounds of chemotherapy.
Each round of chemotherapy got stronger and stronger, with round five hitting hardest of all. Ty was so sick; he wouldn't play or laugh or eat. It was during this time he started experiencing petit mal seizures. His mom, Nichole, has petit mal so Ty had a predisposition for it and the stress and trauma of chemotherapy were likely the triggers that caused them. He was immediately started on epilepsy medication to get his seizures under control.
Ty was finally well enough to go home on December 23, 2019, just in time for Christmas. His moms were over the moon to have him home surrounded by family when they were so sure they would be spending Christmas in the hospital.
His mom Nichole had this to say about their experience at the IWK: “The IWK was our second home for seven months. It’s the place that saved our son’s life. The IWK is the reason we are still moms and Dianna and I will be grateful to Ty’s care team for the rest of our lives."
On July 17, 2020, Ty celebrated being cancer-free for one whole year. He and his moms celebrated by making memories at the beach. During the past year, he has learned to walk, run, talk, sing and dance, and is a happy, healthy two-year-old.