Fletcher Fisher was the much loved first child of Lee and Leanne Fisher. Born April 2015, he was in every way a typical toddler. Fun, energetic, loving and beautiful. He met all of his milestones, and was thriving – a bouncing, chubby baby. Until he got sick.
Aged nine months, in January 2016, Fletcher began presenting with unusual symptoms – white, chalky stools and regular vomiting. His parents took him to various medical professionals, from the paediatric nurse and GP at the surgery to the out of hours doctors and their health visitor. No one seemed sure what was wrong, and no one realised that his symptoms were so very serious.
After two weeks of having these symptoms, Fletcher began showing signs of jaundice – yellowing to the whites of his eyes and skin. Once again, Lee and Leanne took him to the out of hours doctors, and this time they were sent to the local paediatric department. That is where it all began. The doctors there found that his liver was enlarged, and the family was sent by ambulance to Leeds Children’s Hospital to the paediatric liver unit for further investigations.
A few weeks later, the family was told that Fletcher had cancer, with a large tumour in his liver, but unusually, the cancer did not have a firm diagnosis. Treatment began in February 2016, but without a diagnosis, things were always uncertain. Despite that, Fletcher and his parents made the best of the situation, and became familiar with life as an oncology family.
In July 2016 Fletcher seemed to be in remission, and the family enjoyed two months off treatment, with holidays to Center Parcs (gifted by a charity) and London to make some precious memories. Unfortunately, in September, Fletcher relapsed with metastases to his bones and bone marrow.
Fletch was admitted back to ward 31, Leeds Children Hospital in September 2016 and stayed permanently until February 2017. The family were away from their home in Carlisle and staying in Leeds for so long that Cooper, Fletcher’s little brother was born in Leeds at Christmas time!
The family fell in love with the staff on the ward, and they, and everyone else along the way that came in contact with Fletcher, loved him. He was a very charismatic little boy, with a smile that could light up a room. Always the centre of attention, and lover of the limelight, he permanently had a smile on his face and had his parents, wider family and staff wrapped round his little finger.
The family got home in February 2017, but sadly not for long. Fletcher relapsed again in March 2017, but this time it was very quickly obvious that this was more serious than ever before. He was very weak and tired, and Lee and Leanne, in agreement with the medical team surrounding Fletcher, felt that he could not endure any further treatment. The heart-breaking decision was made to take Fletcher to Jigsaw Children’s Hospice in Carlisle.
Five short days after arriving at Jigsaw, Fletcher died in his sleep, in his mum’s arms. It was 15th March 2017, and he was 1 month and 1 day away from turning two.
He is missed beyond measure, but Fletcher’s Fund is his legacy, and his name lives on in the precious memories made by all the family’s that we are fortunate enough to help.