Like many kids his age, Kenzo Wilson is an energetic, fun-loving kid with a smile that will melt your heart. He enjoys playing video games and soccer, is a cunning chess player, and loves heading out for a round of golf, often besting his dad.
In November of 2011, having just started his final year at Glenealy Primary School and just shy of his 11th birthday, Kenzo was diagnosed with Leukemia. A parent’s worst fear had now become a reality. He was admitted into the hospital and celebrated his 11th birthday from the hospital bed.
Between November and February, Kenzo underwent three rounds of chemotherapy treatments. Ever the optimist, Kenzo’s spirits remained high and unabated. Between the rounds of chemo, Kenzo was able to return home, enjoy time with his family and friends, and continue his schoolwork.
There were days when he felt well enough to do normal everyday activities, and yet they would be followed by severe downturns and stays in the Emergency Room. An unimaginable roller coast of emotions was becoming the daily routine for his family and friends. Throughout the process, however, Kenzo never once uttered a complaint or lost his radiant smile.
In early 2012, Kenzo’s doctors determined that a stem-cell transplant was necessary for his recovery. Remarkably, Kenzo’s sister Kohana turned out to be a perfect match, and so Kenzo and Kohana underwent the transplant process together in February of 2012. Several tense months passed as doctors and family waited to see if Kenzo’s body would accept or reject his sister’s cells. By late Spring, there was finally some good news as it seemed the transplant was a success. Kenzo was soon able to return home to his family with a bright ray of hope on the horizon.
Kenzo was looking forward to a full recovery. Outside of regular hospital checkups, Kenzo spent his time at home cautiously guarding against infections. He was able to graduate at the end of the school year along with his classmates. His blood count was improving with every test, and he was eagerly looking forward to starting at Island School in August.
In June, however, he began having breathing difficulties. After a month of hospital visits, he was diagnosed with Bronchiolitis Obliterans, a debilitating condition of the lungs brought on by a complication from the stem cell transplant. His condition has continued to deteriorate, limiting his movement and leaving him wheelchair-bound.
At the end of September, his condition deteriorated further, and he was admitted into intensive care at Queen Mary Hospital. In order to help Kenzo with his breathing, it was necessary for him to be sedated and put onto a ventilator.
Kenzo is now in need of a lung transplant – an uncommon procedure in Hong Kong, further complicated by a lack of suitable donors.
To give Kenzo the best possible chance for survival, his family will need to move him overseas in order to find a suitable donor and for him to receive the best possible medical care.