By Steve Hayes 15/03 Updated: 20/03 13:18
THE PROUD father of brave Bidford girl Esme Clayson has spoken of her incredible fighting spirit as she continues to battle cancer.
We reported last year how three-year-old Esme was preparing to spend Christmas in hospital after her family received the terrible news she had been diagnosed with a rare form of Leukaemia back in August.
After a donor was found her bone marrow transplant operation just before Christmas proved a success and she was able to return home with Grant, her mum Naomi and brother Jack. But the avid Aston Villa fan has since gone back into hospital with an infection.
Speaking to us this week, Esme's proud dad Grant said she continues to fight with a smile on her face.
"She's just gets on with it and doesn't complain - the same as she has throughout really," he said.
"It's still very difficult for us and Christmas wasn't an easy time, but she had enough energy to open some presents which was nice.
"Then she came out of hospital and we had her back with us at home when we had the snow. It was great to see her be able to play in it and having some fun.
"But she was still very weak and vulnerable. She can't play for very long before she gets tired and she is prone to infection so she is back in hospital now in an isolation unit."
And the family now faces another anxious period of waiting for Esme's blood cell levels to improve and her immune system to strengthen.
Grant continued: "It's really hard for us all because we still don't have our daughter back with us - either myself, Naomi and Esme's grandma Denise are always in the hospital with her - we are spending alternate nights on the ward with her.
"We have 24/7 access to her so ward 15 at the hospital has basically become a second home for her - it will just be so great to finally see the back of it, get her back home for good and return to normal.
"Her prognosis is very positive in the long run and doctors have said she can live a normal, healthy life but for the moment it is just a waiting game as she builds up her immune system again.
"We've had a lot of help from lots of different people and so far we've raised more than £12,500 for Children with Cancer.
"We would like to thank all those involved in the charity day particularly Neil and Sam Chaundy, Justin Hall and Paul Salter, there are many many more but without these four people the whole charity day wouldn't have been possible.
"We want to do some more fund-raising eventually but for now it's just about Esme and making sure she gets back to full health."
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