RANDY Johnson sits in a hospital room and waits, his mind oscillating between hope and despair.
It’s been six months since the single father-of-four’s baby boy Bailon was diagnosed with a deadly tumour – six months holding a lonely bedside vigil at John Hunter Hospital, six months away from his three girls in Tamworth, six months not knowing whether his son would live or die.
The long weeks are punctuated with the occasional visit and, more recently, a fresh round of operations.
In October, Bailon had a procedure that removed 95 per cent of the tumour from his abdomen and just last week had a stem cell transplant.
Doctors say his chances of survival remain at 50 per cent, a cruel figure that sticks in Mr Johnson’s mind like a piece of glass.
“It’s hard sitting here watching your boy in pain,” Mr Johnson told The Leader yesterday.
“He’s vomiting a lot and is on continuous pain relief, so he’s mostly asleep.
“It’s pretty boring, pretty lonely, especially when Bailon isn’t well enough to play.”
Christmas will be just be another day for Mr Johnson and Bailon this year.
At best, they may get to spend the day at Ronald McDonald House, but the three-year-old will be kept in isolation.
“We’re hoping to get the girls down here but we just don’t know,” Mr Johnson said.
The girls – Rhyarna, 2, Alysha, 8, and Tayla, 7 – remain in care in Tamworth.
October’s operation removed 95 per cent of Bailon’s tumour and he will undergo radiation treatment in Sydney in the coming months in an attempt to remove the rest.
While a dark cloud of uncertainty hovers over the family, it’s been brightened by the cascade of goodwill from the Tamworth community and beyond.
Fundraising efforts for the Johnsons continue apace, the latest a $5000
donation from a Gold Coast daredevil.
Donate For a Mate, founded by stuntman Scotty Gregory, this week presented a cheque to Mr Johnson for $5000.
The charity raised the money by organising a charity boxing match and fundraising auction.
Donations to the Johnsons can be made by visiting www.facebook.com/
HelpBailonsFightWithCancer or calling Mr Johnson on 0432 026 177.