Parents hail son's cancer 'miracle'
on 25/02/2013 00:00:00
"An evil creature, a demonic monster was inside our baby. It had one goal and that was to kill," said Mike.
Andrew was diagnosed with the disease at 17 months old. The boy from Buncrana, Co Donegal, was already in the fourth and final stage of the cancer, with a thick "tentacled" tumour over 8in long wrapped around his spine.
Tests at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin revealed the cancer was in 90% of his bone marrow and had spread to every bone in his body except those in his hands and feet.
His Dutch-born mother and Kildare-born father say the diagnosis plunged their young family into turmoil.
"All of a sudden our world was turned upside down. Our hearts were broken," said Aster, who was heavily pregnant with the couple's sixth child at the time.
After his diagnosis, the couple agreed for their son to be put on a new European trial for children with neuroblastoma. It involved an 18-month treatment protocol in Crumlin that included chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, and immunotherapy that was sometimes excruciating. He also had radiotherapy at St Luke's Hospital.
The couple, who are devout Christians and founding members of missionary charity OM Ireland, launched a "worldwide prayer blitz" and fundraising drive for their son.
"Rather than pleading and begging for healing, we decided to put our faith in a loving God who wants to heal," said Mike, who works for the Irish Coast Guard.
As the Mullins' prayers intensified, they received a phone call on Sept 19, 2011 from Andrew's consultant to say the child's bones were completely clean of cancer.
His treatment finished in June 2012 and four months ago the bubbly youngster, who loves cars and trucks, was given the official all- clear. He had an ultrasound test last week in Crumlin and it revealed that he remains cancer-free.
The Mullins family heap praise and thanks on Andrew's medical team but say they ultimately put their faith in God.
"We are in no doubt that Andrew's recovery is a miracle," said Mike.