The founder of ‘Mummy Social’ has revealed her son has leukemia in a Facebook post from hospital – days after he was sent home from school with a sore throat.
Josie Barron, 33, set up the social network in 2015 after experiencing loneliness as a new mum,
She wrote on Monday night that her son Dexter, four, had been diagnosed with the illness.
In a message sent from the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, the mum from Exeter, Devon, wrote: “10 days ago Dexter was sent home from school with a sore throat.
“The next morning, while he still slept, something made me go and check on him, turning on the lights and pulling back the cover.
”I found him covered in a rash and an ambulance was sent. At the hospital wires were attached, antibiotics given and blood taken.
“Then the consultant received a phone call, “You need to get his Dad to fly home now”. At this moment I knew something was seriously wrong.
“And within a couple of hours of arriving I was taken into a room where I was told our darling boy has leukaemia.”
Josie created the website to help find a solution to the isolation that some mothers face.
It has build up 65,000 followers and Josie runs it with Cornwall author Sarah Turner, also known as The Unmumsy Mum, and television presenter Helen Skelton.
In the post on Facebook, Josie says she will be handing over the running of the group while she helps Dexter get better.
And she revealed she has been able to retain her sense of humour despite her son’s shock news.
Josie wrote: “I don’t want to see my boy’s name on the white board in the ward for children with cancer. I don’t want to have witnessed my boy’s blood curdling screams while emergency procedures had to be done.
“I don’t want to be walking my child into treatment rooms knowing he’s about to be injected with chemo and I don’t want to be seeing the side effects already kicking in. I want to be back in our lovely home in our blissfully happy bubble that I didn’t even realised was so happy until now.
“But we are here. This is now our story and I know in many ways we are extremely lucky. We have a 90% chance of taking our boy home fit and well after the treatment is complete.
“We are on a well trodden road, albeit slightly messy and rather long. There are children and families on this ward who are in far worse positions than us. So I am looking on the positive side, gritting my teeth, taking it one hour at a time, and being the cheeriest, silliest mum I can be!
“And we haven’t lost our sense of humour… Highlights have been my brother being sent home for emergency overnight clothes and returning with a push up bra, a strapless bra and a lacy number.
“Nearly pulling the crash button on finding Dex’s bed sheets covered in blood before realising a red felt tip pen had leaked. And I cannot help but giggle at the look on Andy’s face when we are discussing the inevitable hair loss and it’s suggested that he could shave his head too.”
Messages of support poured in from some of Mummy Social’s many followers.
Carly Cavilla-Hunt wrote: “What a courageous post. I’m so sorry you’re needing to be that person, but how wonderful for your boy to have support like you (and indeed you to have him too). Best wishes xx”
Debbie Mears said: “Tears in my eyes reading this post, something no child or parent should ever have to go through. Love and hugs to keep you going through this to a very positive result xx”