A dying seven-year-old schoolboy is asking the public to help him fulfil his final wish – to be buried with his mother so she can look after him in heaven.
Filip Kwasny, from Colchester, Essex, made the wish from his bed in London’s Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital where chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant have failed to cure his leukaemia.
Now, as the cancer spreads to his intestines, Filip receives only palliative care to make him comfortable as his short life comes to an end.
Kind-hearted strangers have been donating to help him be buried in the same coffin as his mother, who he lost to cancer when he was two.
Barely able to speak, he yesterday sent a personal thank you from his bed on the hospital’s Fox Ward, saying: ‘Thanks for helping make my wish come true.’
Filip was diagnosed with juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia (JMML) – an accumulation of abnormal blood cells in the bone marrow – in September last year.
It followed a diagnosis of neurofibromatosis type 1 when he was two, from which Filip, a pupil at Friar Grove Primary School in Colchester, initially recovered.
His father, Piotr Kwasny, 40, is desperate to raise £6,500 to raise his wife’s coffin which has been underground for five years and re-bury her with their son.
‘He says that I’m his angel that is looking after him here and that his mum will look after him when he is in heaven,’ Piotr explained from his son’s hospital bed.
‘I don’t know how well he remembers his mother as he was so young when she passed away, but he has visited her grave when he was well enough to speak to her.
‘Filip wants to be buried with his mother so we will need to organise that locally and re-bury them together. He wants her to look after him. I will only be able to take Filip back to Poland myself.
‘His step-mother and siblings will have to stay in the UK, as I do not have the means to arrange for passports and transportation to Poland for them all.
‘This is just a very stressful and distressing time for all of us. I did not imagine that I would have to bury my child… you shouldn’t go before your child.’
As Piotr is himself ill with spina bifida (a gap in his spine), one kidney, diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure), he cannot work and has not got the funds to pay for it himself.
And Filip is simply too ill to travel to Poland while he is still alive. ‘The doctors do not know how long Filip has left,’ Piotr said.
‘There is a bell in the Fox Ward outside Filip’s room. Ward patients ring the bell three times when their treatment is done and they are leaving. Filip, my son, will never get to ring that bell.’
Filip, who knows he is dying, has told his dad that he wants to be buried in the same coffin as his beloved mum, Agnieszka, who died aged 33 on November 12, 2011.
She is buried in her home village of Wadowice, southern Poland, the same location where she married Filip’s father in 2009 and where her boy hopes eventually to join her.
Piotr, who has now remarried and has a two-year-old daughter and two step-children, told how his late wife died shortly after developing sarcoma, a cancer of the connecting tissue.
‘My wife had a large growth on her neck, I believe her lymph nodes, but we didn’t know what that was,’ he explained.
‘She collapsed in the street one day and was taken to hospital where they did an emergency operation to remove it which lasted for six hours.
‘She was diagnosed with sarcoma. The cancer spread throughout her body. She only weighed 3 stones when we lost her.’
It was a devastating blow for Piotr when just a year later his two-year-old son was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 1, a condition causing tumours to grow on the nerves.
Remembering how his son’s health deteriorated before the diagnosis, Piotr said: ‘Filip had spots on his face and body in Poland before we came to the UK and the doctors gave him cream for the rash.
‘When we came to the UK the rash did not improve, so I took him to the doctor’s here.
‘After many subsequent visits to the doctor they finally did lots of tests and discovered that he had neurofibromatosis type 1 in 2013.
‘The doctors said that they needed to do more tests but that Filip was okay for now.’
Filip recovered well but his health took a downward turn in September last year.