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Joyful homecoming for cancer patient Tom (14) after six months in UK

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A TEENAGE cancer patient was greeted by friends and family as he finally returned home after six months in the UK.

Tom Clayton accompanied by his mother

Les Quennevais student Tom Clayton (14) has been in Southampton receiving treatment and, although his mother was with him throughout, his father, Tim, and younger brother, Alex, have been unable to see him for weeks due to the coronavirus travel restrictions.

Tom was initially diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma towards the end of last year and has completed seven cycles of chemotherapy.

‘He’s been wanting to come back for so long,’ said Tom’s mother, Peta. ‘He’s on top of the world.’

She added that they had been keeping in touch with the rest of the family through the internet, but were thrilled that the family could now be be reunited after such an extended period away from each other.

And Tom received a large – albeit socially distanced – welcome as his flight touched down, with friends and family who have supported him through his journey welcoming him back as he arrived at Jersey Airport.

‘It’s been a long time since we’ve been all together,’ said Mrs Clayton. ‘It’s good to get him home – he’s been dreaming of Jersey.’

It’s been a long journey for Tom and his family, during what is already a difficult and uncertain time for many. Mrs Clayton said that the circumstances had been somewhat unusual, given the length of time Tom had been unable to come home.

‘The oncology nurse at the hospital said that she doesn’t remember anyone being away as long as Tom has – it’s been a long, long time.’

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‘There are so many people who are happy to see him come back – when we learnt we were coming home I sent messages to about half of Jersey.’

Mrs Clayton expressed her thanks to the teachers and students who had supported them along the way, in addition to various charities that provided financial assistance and encouragement.

‘We’ve been supported by CLIC Sargent in Jersey and also the Grace Crocker Foundation. They’ve both helped us a lot.’

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