WONDER nurse Rayanne Durnion lovingly cares for cancer sufferers - while her own son battles a million-to-one health condition back at home.
The Billingham mum-of-two works at Sunderland Royal Hospital as a specialist chemotherapy nurse and is part of a team which helps up to 70 people a day.
It is really rewarding to be with a patient who is going through their journey of treatment. I see it as a privilege to help people through that journey.Rayanne Durnion, cancer nurse
But behind the smiles, Rayanne, 35, has her own astonishing story.
Each night at home, she provides care to her own little hero. Her seven-year-old son Samuel Cumpson has a daily battle with the rare blood condition Diamond Blackfan Anaemia (DBA) which is where he fails to produce red blood cells properly.
He was diagnosed at just three months old and almost died from it as a baby. He was rushed into hospital and given an emergency blood transfusion which saved his life. A bone marrow transfusion confirmed he had DBA.
Now, the Billingham youngster needs blood transfusions every four weeks at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
He also has a ten-hour infusion of medication each night into his stomach because he suffers from a severe iron overload in his body.
And he’s waiting to have a bone marrow transplant at St Mary’s Hospital in London after a perfect match was found through the Anthony Nolan organisation. If he gets it, he can lead a disease-free life but he can only have the transfusion when his iron levels are reduced.
Modest Rayanne, from Wolviston Court in Billingham, and who also has a two-year-old son Corey-Ray, played down the incredible work she does at home and work.
“I am just doing my job,” she said. “It is the type of person I am. I want to give the best care to people because that’s what other people are giving to my son.”
“It is really rewarding to be with a patient who is going through their journey of treatment. I see it as a privilege to help people through that journey.”
But after a full day at work, she goes home to be with her two sons including one who needs ten hours of medical infusions into his body each night, as well as oral medication called chelation therapy .
Rayanne added: “Samuel just wants to be well. He says he does not want to have transfusions any more.
“He’s old enough now to start asking questions about where his illness has come from but despite all of this, he is just a happy little boy.”
His condition has not gone unnoticed by young brother Corey-Ray either.
Rayanne added: “He is fit and healthy but he tells me he wants needles in his tummy so he can be like his brother.”
She described Samuel as a “totally incredible little boy”.
Rayanne and her family are raising money towards the cost of the time when they will have to be in London while Samuel has his transplant.
And to help raise more cash, they are planning a funday at the Best Western Roker Hotel on Sunday, April 19.
It will run from 3pm to 6pm with attractions including a meet and greet by princesses and superheroes, a magician and bouncy castle.
Tickets are £5. To find out more, visit http://www.gofundme.com/6ke2m4