A devastated mum has spoken about how an innocent looking rash on her young son’s ankle turned out to be a sign of cancer, the Liverpool Echo reports.
Sharon Hilton, 35, said her then-three-year-old son Max had started to develop a temperature and a recurring limp within a short space of time in August 2018.
The third time it happened, she and partner Michael noticed a small rash on the little boy’s ankle.
The mum from Southport, Merseyside,said: “For about two weeks he had a temperature off and on. We thought at first it was just a viral infection that kids pick up at nursery, it was just one of those things.
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“But we also noticed that two times, along with the temperature, he’d developed a limp as well.
“So the third time it happened he had the limp again but also a tiny rash on his ankle that looked like little raised dots.”
The worried mum made him an appointment to see a GP who immediately referred him to Ormskirk Hospital.
The results of a series of tests confirmed the parents’ worst fears that Max was seriously ill with leukaemia.
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Sharon said: “It was just heartbreaking. There’s no other way to describe it. Me and Max's dad took it in turns to have a meltdown and we think that neither of us could do it at the same time.
"There was no explaining to Max at that age what was going on or what’s wrong, other than try to explain to him that he was a bit poorly and we needed to give him medicine to get better.”
Max, now five, was immediately put under the care of Alder Hey Children's Hospital, where he started an intensive course of chemotherapy and other treatments that took their toll on the little boy. But he developed a life-threatening infection early in his treatment.
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He also developed dangerous blood clots which meant that his mum and dad had to pin him down to administer painful blood thinning injections twice a day for five months.
Sharon said: “It took three of us to pin him down each time as he screamed in fear and pain as the injections burned under his skin.
“It was absolutely heartbreaking to know I had to inflict this pain to save him.”
After battling to overcome the difficult early part of his treatment, Max is still receiving chemotherapy, steroid injections and blood transfusion two years on.
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He undergoes daily chemotherapy sessions, topped up by stronger weekly and monthly treatments which he will need to endure until October 2021.
The family has created a JustGiving page to help raise funds to take the family on holiday to Disneyland Paris and swim with dolphins as something to look forward to and keep Max's spirits up.
Sharon posted on the page: “The fear as a parent is unbelievable and it continues everyday.
“Max is kept isolated as much as possible, he’s missed nursery, preschool and a large portion of reception class.
"We’d love to have some family time together and really treat both the boys after such a difficult time."
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