TEENAGER Bryant Hackett will finally return to school this week after two transplants and five months in a hospital isolation bed.
The sick schoolboy has been out of the classroom for the past 15 months after he was diagnosed with liver failure in October 2012.
After undergoing two bone marrow transplants last year, the 14-year-old spent five months in isolation in the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle, receiving chemotherapy.
Hopes had been high that following the operations, he could start at Sandhill View Community Arts School.
However he was refused entry after suffering from the Cytomegalovirus (CMV) following post-operation treatment.
CMV is a condition which often flares due to a weakened immune system and can be harmful to unborn babies, endangering pregnant teachers and pupils.
But at a meeting at Sandhill View last Friday, arrangements were made for the youngster, who has been keeping up with school work thanks to a tutor, to start at St Aidan’s Catholic Academy this week.
Mum Leanne, 36, said the idea to secure Bryant – who won a Pride of Wearside Child of Courage Award last year – a place at the all-boys school was thought up by Sandhill View staff, as there are fewer people who could be affected by CMV at St Aidan’s. Leanne, of Hylton Castle, Sunderland, said: “I just can’t wait for him to put his uniform on and get in a taxi and go to school.
“Bryant’s not even nervous. He’s just excited to get back and looking forward to doing normal, day-to-day things.
“It has been a really difficult year, so I just can’t wait to get back to normal.”
The teenager, who said he has seen enough hospitals to last him a lifetime, is also looking forward to some semblance of normality after recovering from CMV.
Doctors have weaned him off medication to fight the virus, and are now hoping he can get well without it.
He is not affected in any way by CMV, but because it is in his bloodstream, it means that he cannot be around his sister Terri Wooton, 20, who is due to give birth to a baby boy in seven weeks’ time. She is currently living with her grandmother.
“I think Bryant wants the virus gone and his sister to give birth so she can come home,” said Leanne.
“I think Terri wants the baby to come so she can move home as well. I just can’t wait to get back to normal.
“The transplant nurse said it is a good thing the baby is coming, so I’ve got something to keep me occupied when Bryant goes back to school.”
A spokeswoman for St Aidan’s Catholic Academy said: “We are going to admit Bryant to the school this week.
“We are happy to support Bryant and his family as he integrates back into full-time education.”