A teen living in Ireland has only one wish this Christmas - a hyperbaric oxygen chamber that can help fight his cancer.
Slav Vavro was diagnosed in January last year with a rare and aggressive type of cancer called Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma, stage IV.
Slav, who is now 14, went through 27 weeks of harsh chemotherapy in Crumlin Children’s Hospital that included cocktails of four different drugs.
After this, doctors told the family that there is no further treatment available outside of clinics and further treatment would be palliative, not curative.
This Christmas, his brave mum Nadia is spearheading fundraisers to get Slav a hyperbaric oxygen chamber for his home to save him from painful car journeys to Newry every week for oxygen treatment.
Nadia said: “Slav currently commutes for the oxygen treatment three to five times a week plus other appointments on top of that. Hours spent in the car cause bad pain in his spine and it is also extremely time consuming so he could not return to school yet."
“Purchasing a hyperbaric oxygen chamber for home use will be extremely helpful and beneficial for Slav. He will be able to use it even twice a day. We cannot do this without the help of other people as this equipment is not covered by the HSE. The hyperbaric chamber is going to be purchased from the official and certified submarine manufacturer and costs around €70,000.”
Slav’s cancer began in his foot but spread into his bones and caused compression fractures of his vertebrae.
Nadia added: “Slav can’t eat carbohydrates as they are feeding the cancer cells, so he eats a lot of nutrient rich foods as well as taking food supplements to help his body.”
The family and friends have organised numerous fundraisers for Slav but they are still a long way off meeting their target.
Nadia continued: “With only 5% chance to survive three years after diagnosis - we have to do everything possible and beyond to save our Slav.”
Slav lives in Bettystown with his brother, sister and parents.