Carter and Brayden Mantta are spending their best Christmas together at home

Best gift ever: being ‘normal’ again

There were no guarantees of success when the Aldergrove youth underwent chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant at B.C. Children's Hospital

Carter Mantta and his family will be celebrating a very quiet Christmas and New Year but it will be the happiest one in his three years on this planet.

There were no guarantees of success when the Aldergrove youth underwent chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant at B.C. Children’s Hospital in September. Carter was only the second case of chronic granulomatous disease — also known by its acronym, CGD — diagnosed in B.C. in the past 20 years.

This is a relatively new and promising procedure for CGD, a disease in which immune system cells called phagocytes do not function properly. Certain immune system cells in a patient’s body are unable to kill some types of bacteria and fungi and the disorder leads to long term and recurrent infections. And while long-term antibiotic treatments may help to reduce infections, early death is typically a result of repeated lung infections.

This treatment entails killing off a patient’s entire immune system and replacing it with a new one.

Carter entered the hospital on September 12 and started chemotherapy the next day, before he was ready for the transplant on Sept. 22.

There were some scares along the way, and Carter was on up to eight IVs of various immune suppressant, anti-rejection and antibiotic drugs at a time, but he consistently gained strength and a restored immune system.

His father Carl was constantly at his side throughout the hospital stay, as he had been fortunate enough to bank enough overtime and not lose family income until Carter’s return to their home on Nov. 2. His mother Nathalie split her time between Carter and his older brother Brayden, aged five, who stayed at the family’s Aldergrove home.

The community had also rallied to the help of the family after a story about their plight was told The Aldergrove Star on April 14. While much of the medical expenses were covered by the medical plan, there were many uncertainties at a very difficult time for the young family.

“We want to give a million thanks to everyone,” said Nathalie earlier this year. “We have had money donated, offers of daycare help for Brayden, gas and food certificates, clothes and toiletries. It really has made a difference.”

Brayden has been overjoyed to have his little brother back at home and the two get along famously.

“We’re going to have a low-key Christmas,” said Carl, but the family is looking forward to a return to normal life in the new year after the 100-day isolation recommended by doctors is up.

“His taste buds will take a while to return, because of the chemotherapy, but his diet is still restricted anyway,” said Nathalie.

“On January 17 his centrelines (IVs) will be removed from his chest so he’ll be able to have a normal bath or go swimming without worrying about them pulling out or cutting him.

“And we’ll have to re-do all of his immunizations next year so that he’ll be ready for Kindergarten.”

“We are going to enjoy a normal family summer starting this spring,” said Carl, as Carter and Brayden nod their heads approvingly.

Just Posted

Van fire sends plume of black smoke into sky above Willowbrook

Vehicle a charred shell in fire that slowed Friday commute home

Police investigate apparent impaired-driving crash

Incident took place in Abbotsford on Thursday night

#MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t

British Columbians have four options to report harassment or assault, but none of them are easy

Langley Rotarians work for clinics in Kenya

Local Rotary Clubs are asking locals to think of others at Christmastime.

Langley realtor uses Monopoly tournament to add to refugee group’s community chest

A fundraising tournament could be the start of an annual tradition.

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Family Christmas fun at Aldergrove’s Loft Country farm

The Loft Country children’s horse camp in Aldergrove is celebrating Christmas in a new way this year

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

UPDATED: Train collides with car in Maple Ridge

Mother and child both uninjured, track cleared at 11 a.m.

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

VIDEO: Pedestrian struck by vehicle caught on security camera

Incident points to danger on the roads not only in low light but also in bright sunshine

Most Read