Jess and Gabe Bruyere of Kenora are saying a big 'Thank You!'
Late last week, their son -- five and a half month old Jayce Bruyere -- underwent a critical operation in a Winnipeg hospital. Jayce has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and the surgeons were trying to remove a malignant tumour that took up half his head.
"It went fairly well. There were complications. He had a lot of blood loss," said his father, Gabe Bruyere.
During the procedure, doctors provided blood transfusions. By the end, the medical staff replaced the equivalent of twice the boy's normal blood volume.
One of the tricky issues is the vein feeding the tumour is also feeding the boy's brain. The tumour had also shifted the brain stem into a different position, and doctors are hoping the brain stem will now shift back to a more normal position.
In an effort to help with the boy's recovery, he was put into an induced coma. Jayce's condition is still described as critical.
After the operation, specialists are also working quickly to try and identify the rare form of tumour.
"The neurologist said it's something they've never seen before, and it's very rare. So, they're sending it to different places to be tested, so they can get a faster result, in case somebody has seen it before," said Gabe Bruyere.
Overall, the prognosis is for a long road to come, as treatments continue.
"Yeah, we're going to be here for a long while," Bruyere said, noting cancer treatments -- such as chemotherapy and radiation -- for his infant's son may still be in the future.
A trip to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto may also be in the very near future, as doctors do their best to identify and treat the boy. Thankfully, the parents are getting lots of support from family and friends.
Over the weekend, a goFundme page raised more than $8,000. Since the couple haven't been working, while their son's in hospital, the money is definitely helping them to stay focused on their son's care, rather than worrying about making sure the bills are paid.
Despite all the adversity, his father says the boy's doing well.
"He's a tough little guy. He's the toughest baby I know," he said, understating the case.
As the father of two other children under five-years-old, Bruyere adds it's been difficult trying to explain what's going on.
"It's very tough. They understand that he's sick, but they don't understand what kind of sick. How sick," Bruyere noted.
"We are seeing them often enough, but we have to be there for them, too, and it's really hard and stressful that we can't be there with them all the time," he added.
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