3-year-old boy plays outside for first time this year after bone marrow transplant

Cape Town - It was a special weekend for a 3-year-old boy who, for the first time in a year, could lie on the lawn, look at the sky, and laugh and play with one of his sisters.

Somerset West toddler Joshua Fourie underwent a bone marrow transplant 60 days ago. He has recovered so well that he could play outside with his sister Toni, 13, Netwerk24 wrote.

And there are even more surprises waiting. No one could predict if his body would reject or accept the bone marrow his sister Zoë, 6, donated.  

Joshua and his sisters, Zoe (left) and Toni, prepare for a weekend of fun. (Supplied, Netwerk24)

He was extremely ill with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), an aggressive cancer of the blood and bone marrow, which had been diagnosed in March.

Zoë was a 100% bone marrow donor match and there was a 30% chance that she, as a family member, would be a suitable donor. It is 60 days down the line now.

The children's mom, Kim Fourie, said Joshua had recovered so well that they will be going away this weekend as a family for the first time in a year.

Joshua's dinosaur toys have already been packed. He obviously is ready for the adventure. But first, there is another surprise.

Recovering well

Even though he has to wear a face mask and keep his hands clean with a sanitizer all the time, Joshua is set to meet some Western Province rugby players. His dad, Nic, will be going along.

With regard to Joshua's progress over the past two months, Fourie said he still has to go to the Red Cross Children's Hospital in Cape Town every Monday morning for a check-up, to make sure his body isn't rejecting the bone marrow.

Because the medication that he's still on is so strong, it can damage his kidneys.

Joshua has to drink 1.3 litres of water a day and he had to stay in the hospital overnight last week for tests to see if his kidneys were still functioning properly. Fourie said because Joshua was recovering so well, he could play outside.

His legs are also getting stronger and the doctor gave them the thumbs up for going away.

The Fouries still have to stay separate from other guests on the guest farm in Caledon, where they will be staying in a chalet, so that Joshua isn't exposed to any diseases.

But with his sisters, Zoë, Toni and Tayla, 18, there as well, there is bound to be more than enough time to play.