Young James Hawick went back to school at South Nesting Primary on Wednesday, the first time for nearly a year.
Seven-year-old James has been suffering from a rare blood disorder, aplastic anaemia, and had been in hospital for the last year, six months in Aberdeen and six months at Yorkhill in Glasgow.
The entire Hawick family has also upped sticks during that time and has been living in special support accommodation at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital and near the Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill.
That has enabled James’s father Ivan or mother Catherine to be with him in the ward while the other is with James’s brother five-year-old Joeney in the family accommodation.
James, who had a bone marrow transplant in January, was delighted to see his classmates, most of whom he has never seen in his time away south being treated.
James’s condition means his immune system is “almost totally compromised”, said Mr Hawick, so only his six P2 classmates were allowed into the room to see him.
James will only return to normal schooling in time once his blood count is back up. He will be on anti-rejection drugs till at least the end of the year. Plans are meanwhile being drawn up for him to be schooled at home by visiting teachers once the term starts.
Mr Hawick, a well-known photographer, said that it had been a “long old year” and one that he would not like to repeat.
The full story is included in The Shetland Times, 26th June.