Playing and laughing with his two young children, doting dad Christopher Patterson had no idea that a bout of tiredness would lead to a devastating diagnosis.
The dad-of-two from Hylton Castle, was given the worst news imaginable when doctors told him that blood tests revealed he was suffering from acute myeloid leukaemia.
With his family by his side, Christopher, 28, embarked on a gruelling seven month course of chemotherapy.
Now, just a month after doctors told him he is remission, the deputy hotel manager for Holiday Inn Express is looking forward to an extra special Father’s Day after winning our competition with The Bridges.
He was put forward for the competition to win a makeover prize worth £350 by partner Lana Stoker, 29, and their sons Oliver, three, and Jack, one, who think their dad is a ‘superhero’ after everything he’s been through.
Lana, a nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead, said: “Christopher was diagnosed on Halloween last year. His only symptoms had been a rash and feeling tired, so we never expected that diagnosis.
“It’s been a real struggle, especially when he started his treatment as he was admitted for 40 days because he kept getting infection after infection. He had four rounds of chemotherapy in total, but he’s been really brave throughout it all and has always put the boys first. The nurses at the hospital, as well as the Macmillan nurses, have all been amazing too.”
Lana and the boys entered the competition to help Christopher feel special after losing his hair to the cancer treatment.
As well as a £250 voucher to spend in The Bridges, the dad has won treatments including a Fresh and Fancy men’s gift set from Lush, a Clarins men’s facial at Debenhams and a haircut from Supercuts for when his hair grows back.
Speaking about how her boys have dealt with their dad’s illness, Lana said: “Oliver understands a bit more and knew his dad was poorly, but we took him to the hospital every day to see him. Jack was too young to understand really.
“But we’re all looking forward to spending some family time together now as we haven’t been able to do that while Christopher was ill. We’re having a birthday party for Oliver’s fourth birthday and we’re all off to the caravan on Monday.”
She added: “It was a huge relief to find out he was in remission. He’s still tired and is still off work, but he’s on the mend.”