A four-year-old girl is fighting for her life after her cough turned out to be CANCER.
Daisy Wigginton was struck down with cold-like symptoms and her parents gave her Calpol and nursed her at home.
But when the cough persistent they took her to her GP, where doctors told them it was asthma and prescribed her an inhaler and steroids.
The treatment initially appeared to work but two weeks later the deep, chesty cough returned – and was even worse.
Her parents Darren and Ria Wigginton took her to A&E when she became lethargic and hot and she was immediately admitted to Southampton General Hospital.
But doctors then made the bombshell discovery that she wasn’t suffering from asthma at all – but actually had CANCER.
An x-ray revealed a tumour covering her right lung, spleen and kidneys, crushing her windpipe and making it difficult for her to breathe.
Daisy was diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma – similar to leukaemia – and is now undergoing chemotherapy with an 80 per cent chance of survival.
Her dad Darren, 43, of Chichester, West Sussex, said: “If they hadn’t worked out what this cough was, Daisy’s cancer would have been terminal.
“When they did a scan and this mass was completely covering the right side of her lung and she had a sheet of tumour over the top of her heart.
“We never thought this cough would turn out to be cancer in our wildest dreams. If we hadn’t persisted it would have been terminal.
“If we hadn’t taken Daisy to A&E on the 3rd then and said, ‘Enough is enough,’ we definitely would have lost her.”
Darren, a self-employed builder and carer Ria, 33, first noticed that Daisy was unwell in late October last year, with a chesty cough, tight chest and dry throat.
The dad-of-three said: “She wasn’t herself – she’s usually running around and we could see she wasn’t keeping up with everything.
“At the beginning we thought it was a chest infection and gave her cough syrup and paracetamol.
“We took her to the GP in mid-November and they said, ‘Oh, she has asthma’ and they prescribed an inhaler and a course of steroids.
“When we first saw the doctors they were saying they thought she might have a collapsed lung or pneumonia, which was worrying.
“Then the next morning they told us it wasn’t that and it was far more serious – she actually had a mass on her lung which was crushing her windpipe.
“When they told us it was cancer it was a complete and utter shock. It was totally out of the blue.
“Honestly, it was absolutely horrendous. Everything just empties out of you. It’s difficult to describe just how horrible it is.
“If the GP had done a scan at the start that would have made a lot of sense. They would have been able to detect it straight away.”
The type of cancer Daisy has is common in children and teenagers, and starts when white blood cells – lymphocytes – grow out of control.
After being diagnosed in December she was given a two-and-a-half year care plan, which involves high doses of chemo to target the cancer.
Doctors have given her an 80 per cent chance of survival, but there is a high chance that the disease will return even if it is successfully treated.
Darren and Ria are now struggling to make ends meet while juggling Daisy’s treatment and caring for baby Willow, five months, and Primrose, five.
Ria, who works part-time, said: “Since this diagnosis our worlds have fallen apart.
“Daisy should be living like any other child of her age but instead is in bed and very wobbly on her feet, feeling unwell and tired.
“This is a huge contrast from the child that she once was. She loved being outdoors on her bike or playing with her sisters but now has lost all interest.
“Our worlds have fallen apart and we really could do with a little help to ease some of the burdens of life right now.”
She added: “We just want Daisy to get better and be cured of this awful disease so that she can enjoy her childhood and the rest of her life.”
To donate, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/daisy-wigginton