Radioactive Dad Couldn't Cuddle His Baby For Three Weeks

14/08/2014 16:52 | Updated 22 May 2015

Radioactive dad couldn't cuddle his baby for three weeks

There is nothing on the planet to compare to cuddling your new baby. But Calvin Innes was denied that wonderful, natural pleasure – because he was too radioactive to hold his little boy.

In fact, Calvin Innes, 29, had to steer clear of bonding with baby Cohen or an agonising three weeks.

The reason is because Calvin was diagnosed with cancer just two weeks before Cohen was born, in June.

The 29-year-old children's book illustrator had thyroid cancer and immediately underwent surgery to have a tumour removed from his throat.

The surgery went well and he was healthy enough to be present when his wife, Kali, gave birth to their son.

But several weeks later, Calvin began drug therapy which involved taking a daily cocktail of drugs to prevent the cancer - which had already reached his tonsils, thyroid and the lymph nodes - from spreading any further.

One of the drugs was radioiodine which make a patient's body become radioactive. Because of this the new father was suddenly unable to enjoy bonding with his new son.

Calvin, from Hull in East Yorkshire, said: "When you take the pills you become radioactive and for three weeks I wasn't allowed near my newborn son.

"I couldn't pick him up, I couldn't feed him, play with him or change his nappy.

"It was awful because I was having to watch my wife Kali do all these things and I was unable to help.

"While you're on the treatment, they have to check you with a Geiger counter every day to see how radioactive you are and if you're safe to be around people."

Calvin, who owns publishers My Little Big Town, underwent radioiodine therapy for three weeks. The strength of the pills were enough to cause potentially fatal health problems if he got too close to his son.

Calvin said: "I found out I had cancer two weeks before my son was due so it completely knocked me for six. All I was thinking was 'Am I going to see my son grow up?' or 'Am I going to see him born?'

"I'd had a lump on my neck for a couple of months before but I hadn't really thought anything about it. I felt fine.

"Then I finally went to the doctor, he said 'we'd better get it checked out' and it turned out it was cancer. It's hard to take in at first."

Since stopping treatment last month, Calvin has been told is free of the thyroid cancer which spread to his tonsils. He is now just waiting for the final results, to confirm that the cancer has not spread to any major organs in his body.


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