A mum has blasted the NHS after a bungling medical practitioner misdiagnosed her five-year-old daughter’s leukaemia – as a COLD.
Kayleigh Chapman, 29, went to her local GP surgery when little Lily-Mae Filmer’s spluttering cough started to get worse on April 23.
The mum-of-three also noticed bruise-like rashes appearing on the skin, which can be a tell-tale symptom of some forms of cancer.
But instead of being referred to a GP or hospital, a nurse practitioner at the doctors surgery sent them on their way saying she probably just had a virus.
However, concerned Kayleigh, of Pershore, Worcs., says she trusted her mother’s intuition and returned just 48 hours later when more rashes started to appear.
Eventually, they were allowed to see a GP and the schoolgirl was referred straight away to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
Following a series of blood tests, Kayleigh was given the devastating news earlier this month that her daughter had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
The youngster now faces a gruelling two year chemotherapy battle and has already started losing her hair.
Speaking yesterday (Mon) Kayleigh, who runs a gardening business with husband Craig, said: “It just started with a cold and a cough.
“She was looking a bit off so I kept her off school and the next day she got worse.
“I noticed she had these red spots, bruises, like a rash.
“I took her to the GP and they made me an appointment with the nurse practitioner.
“She said it was just a virus or a cold and sent us home just like that.
“Two days later I woke up and the rash was everywhere. I knew there was something not quite right – call it mother’s intuition.
“I saw the nurse again but this time I wanted to see a doctor and a GP then had a look and they sent us to the hospital straight away.
“Within two hours they said she had leukaemia.
“It was absolutely horrendous. I am quite angry because she should have been referred straight away.
“I had wanted to see a doctor rather than a nurse, with all due respect.
“I know they want to keep GPs free for more serious cases but what could be more serious than cancer.
“She was displaying the symptoms but they weren’t spotted. It has made me angry but we’re the position that we’re in and we have to move on.
“I was just made to feel like a paranoid mum, who was over-reacting but I knew there was something wrong with my daughter.
“We are devastated but we’ve got to stay strong for her.
“What I want to do is raise awareness of how fast it can all happen.”
Brave Lily-Mae has already started taking steroids after undergoing three rounds of chemo, but her mum is fearful of the side-effects.
“The steroids have completely changed her.
“I get little glimpses of what she was like.
“They make her moody, she’s not talking to anyone.
“She’s terrified of everyone because she thinks they will stick her with needles.
“If she gets a temperature I have to bring her straight to hospital.
“She has no immune system whatsoever. She could get a cold and it could knock her for six.
“But she is being very brave, she knows she will lose her hair but said ‘it’s OK, it will grow back’.
“This will be a journey we will take for the rest of our lives.
“Even when she’s finished chemo and has the all clear, it will be in the back of my mind what if it comes back?
“I knew something was wrong but I thought I was being over-protective mum. But when I look back I was completely on point.”