Looking forward to heading home

A letter of thanks from a grateful father of a courageous young boy


My name is Patrice Côté and I am the father of a very brave little boy named Jérémie Ward-Côté. Jérémie lives in Bertrand, near Caraquet, in northern New Brunswick.

Jérémie hadn’t even celebrated his third birthday when, in early July 2014, within the span of a few days, he was transferred to BathurstChaleurRegionalHospital to the CHUL de Québec, then to the Montreal Children's Hospital. Tests showed that Jérémie had a cancerous brain tumor that had spread throughout his spinal cord. Upon arriving at the Children’s, his spinal cord was so compressed that he had lost the use of his legs. This was the beginning of a long struggle that resulted in six cycles of chemotherapy, 38 radiation treatments, three stem cell transplants, more than a hundred blood transfusions and countless physiotherapy sessions. Yet this past Thursday, March 5th, almost eight months to the day after arriving at Children’s, Jérémie completed his treatment protocol.

In the coming days, if all goes as planned, Jérémie will be transferred to the CHUL de Québec where he will continue his recovery. This transfer will allow him to be closer to his paternal grandparents, as well as his godfather and godmother, who live in the greater Quebec City area. With a bit of luck and if his health continues to improve, Jérémie and his parents will be able to return home to New Brunswick for the first time since last July in late April 2015. Jérémie, who has regained full use of his legs and whose final exams have shown a significant decline in disease activity, will finally see his friends, find his toys and his room, and above all, his two cats that he adores.

The Ward-Côté family would like to thank the greater Children’s family, and especially Dr. Jeffrey Atkinson, Dr. Adam Flemming, Dr. Carolyn Freeman, Dr. David Mitchell, Dr. Genevieve Legault and Dr. Jabado; medical residents Catherine Goudie, Janie Charlebois and Amit Dotan; nurses Julie Brouillard, Line Mainville et Dolores Suarez; physiotherapist Melissa Turner; driver Tony Zisimopoulos; Child Life Specialists  Bertrand, Anna and Helen; Laura Johnston, our social worker; nutritionist Chantal David; as well as the staff members in the departments of anesthesia and respiratory therapy, on the 8D and 7C units in the recovery room and the Hematology-Oncology Day Centre. Words can not express our gratitude. You will forever occupy a very special place in our hearts.

A special thank you to all the parents and families that we met during our stay at the Children’s. Your courage and generosity inspired us; your kind words, your encouragement and smiles lifted our spirits. To each and everyone, good luck and thank you.

Patrice Côté