Doctors question mum over baby's bruises – before diagnosing him with leukaemia
A mum was questioned by doctors about abusing her baby after he developed mystery bruises – before a blood test confirmed he had leukaemia.
Beth Reilly, 23, became concerned last October when her little boy Bailey Kilbane, now 16 months, started developing strange bruises that didn’t heal after three weeks, along with and flu-like symptoms.
She says her son was ‘so happy and smiley’ that GPs and hospital doctors said there was nothing wrong with him six times.
Doctors once even asked if she was abusing her son, until a blood test changed everything.
It revealed little Bailey was suffering with leukaemia – cancer of the white blood cells.
Beth, from Wallasey, Merseyside, said: ‘People always just say that you know when your child is not right, and just at that moment that week I felt that.
‘He was smiling, but I could just tell that there was something not right – you’d just look at him and he would look right through you back.
‘I still often think back to the experience and it was horrible to be questioned about abusing your own child – but I know that they needed to do it.’
Beth says that she hopes her experience will encourage people to press doctors for tests.
After being turned away by doctors multiple times, Beth pushed and demanded a blood test.
She remembered: ‘Eventually I said that I was not leaving unless they did a blood test, and they agreed to keep him in overnight and did tests that morning.
‘Then a few hours later the doctor came back with her head down and a few other nurses behind her – that was when I found out about his B cell lymphoblastic leukaemia.’
Lymphoblastic leukaemia is a rare form of cancer that affects around 790 people a year in the UK.
Bailey has already had a bone marrow biopsy, three rounds of chemotherapy and is undergoing a spinal lumbar puncture every two weeks. He’ll be having heart scans for the duration of his life too.
She added: ‘Bailey is still very happy, but it’s just tough on him – and you can see that. We’re still a bit in denial that he’s actually ill and it’s already been months.
‘He’s definitely been knocked a bit, he’s exhausted. He struggles to eat, so he’s now fed mostly through a feeding tube – it’s just not the normality we’re used to.
‘All of his young years that he should be spending having fun and being a child, he’s now going to be going through treatment instead.
‘It’s sad because he had just joined nursery, and he loved it – but I’ve had to take him out now.’
Beth is keen for other parents to trust their guts, even when doctors can’t see the signs for what they are.
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