A DRUMCHAPEL boy was fighting for his life when his big brother stepped up and gave him his bone marrow. 

Louis Thomson was just five when he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia – one of the most aggressive forms of the cancer – on July 25, 2014.

Dad James described his world as having “fallen apart” and told the Post he was numb with heartbreak on hearing the diagnosis. 

The 43-year-old from Vale of Leven said: “He (Louis) had a skelf in his foot. A simple skelf and it wouldn’t heal. His mum took him to the local out-of-hours hospital. 

“They said he would have to go to Yorkhill. They took some blood and it was identified he had leukaemia. Our world fell apart. We were in absolute shock. To be perfectly honest, it was like being a rabbit in the headlights.

“How do you tell a five-year-old he is potentially going to die? It’s been a long struggle.”

Now James is in the process of a fundraising campaign to help other youngsters battling life-threatening conditions, having experienced the heartache it can bring on a family.

James said they were “on the backfoot” in the fight in December 2014 and the family was beginning to fear the worst.

“The leukaemia was so strong,” he said. “He went to hospital with 87 per cent of his body affected. He was started on chemotherapy straight away. 

“We got that for ten days and then we had to wait four weeks. We went to the theatre and the bone marrow didn’t move again.

“We had to go through chemotherapy again, but you can’t keep giving chemotherapy because that’s good and bad. 

“We were told the chemotherapy wasn’t working. We were under extreme pressure [fearing] he was going to pass away.”

Louis was put on the bone marrow register but it transpired that his brother Jack was a perfect match. 

The then 12-year-old didn’t hesitate in saving his brother’s life and parents James and Caroline were overwhelmed with emotion. 

James added: “Jack was a 100 per cent match, which was a miracle. Straight away, no questions asked, he said, ‘I want to save my wee brother’. 

“You can’t describe that feeling. We were pretty shocked he was even a match.”

Speaking about the recovery, he added: “There were good days and bad days but most of the time Louis was upbeat. 

“There were thumbs ups and smiles but there were days that he just wanted to keep his head under the covers. That’s expected.”

Louis, who had to delay starting school, is now eight years old and has fully recovered. 

He is in primary three at Blairdardie Primary School, while his 15-year-old brother is at Knightswood High School. 

The pair have inspired their dad to do whatever he can to put a smile on the faces of children who are battling the vicious disease. 

While Louis was in the Schiehallion Unit at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children, nurses had started a “fairybox” with small gifts as rewards for kids who had undergone a procedure. 

And after being moved by a little girl, who was going through the battle without her parents, James was desperate to help.

“I noticed there was a kid who didn’t get anything,” he said. “It melted my heart. She was fighting leukaemia with nobody, just with social work. 

“There are kids that don’t have anything.”

James organised a speakers’ night at Radnor Park Bowling Club last Saturday, with former football referee Kenny Clark and player Gordon Smith as guests, to raise funds and ensure the box can stay stocked. 

And after raising £4,650, James is also planning to buy android tablets, games consoles and teddies for the Schiehallion Unit.

He said: “My goal is to have a foundation but it’s very hard to have that. You need a lot of backing.

“As long as we can make a kid smile for five minutes, we’ve done our job. We’ve taken the pain away for five minutes.”

James would like to thank friends and family for their support, and the businesses who helped with raffle prizes for the fundraisers.