Inspiring Story of Liam Pluymers: Battling Cancer and the Tragic Loss of a Brave 12-Year-Old

2023-09-01 09:53:25

Liam Pluymers, a 12-year-old Belgian, thought he had beaten cancer at the end of last school year. The child tragically died of another malignancy.

Liam was ready for his return to school when tragedy struck. His grandparents, Johan Leenen and Tanja, who raised him, testify in the columns of Belang van Limburg. “His school bag is always ready in the hallway. He chose his bag himself, as well as the new clothes he was going to wear. He was incredibly proud of it,” says his grandfather.

It was in 2021 that Liam was diagnosed with a tumor in his lower abdomen. He then underwent a long two-year treatment at the University Hospital of Louvain. “According to the doctors, he went through the back door several times. Until he was declared cured this spring. There was nothing left in his body,” says Johan. “But the professionals were realistic: the risk of relapse was 75%,” he adds.

“The Summer of His Life”

“In his school, he was always the sick child. He had had enough. Today, he was going to go back to school. He wanted to be a normal student, like everyone else, ”says his grandfather again. After these two years of fighting, Liam finally felt better. “He was looking forward. We have seen it flourish. We have made sure that the summer is magnificent. What do you think after two years in a hospital room? We had lost a lot of time catching up with the family, ”explains his grandparents.

“We swam late into the night, went on trips and visited amusement parks. It was the summer of his life,” adds Johan. But everything changed this week, when the family went to the Saint-Trond fair to end the summer in a festive way. “He suddenly started limping. He even collapsed. From then on, we plunged back into a terrible nightmare”, sadly testifies Johan.

Johan and Tanja rushed their grandson to the hospital, where doctors found that Liam was already partially paralyzed. CT scans revealed the presence of a tumor in the brain. “Our Liam already couldn’t speak, but he was crying. He knew what was coming next. A few days later, he lost this terribly unfair battle, ”says his grandfather again. “His big dream of being able to go to school as a healthy teenager could only come true for a few days,” he adds.

Although his classmates didn’t get to know Liam, they were told why a spot would remain empty this year. “We are going to approach the subject gently in the classes. Next week, we are going to launch pigeons in the playground, in his memory,” explains Lieve Nackom, director of the establishment.

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