A five-year-old repeatedly told by doctors he had constipation moved house and changed GPs – who discovered he has terminal cancer, his family say.
Little Michael Sigwaza now has just weeks to live after medics found he has Stage 4 bowel cancer.
He first fell ill in July last year but his parents didn’t think it was “anything serious” so treated him at home.
Following a month of prolonged symptoms he visited his GP in August but the family’s complaints were dismissed as stomach cramps and constipation.
As his condition became increasingly painful, the youngster made several visits to the GP as well as Bristol Children’s Hospital Emergency Department.
But the family claim they were repeatedly told it was severe constipation and doctors continued prescribing laxatives — at one point he was on eight sachets a day.
It was only when the family signed up with a new GP after moving house that the youngster was diagnosed with the cancer — five months after his symptoms started.
The family relocated from Bristol to Wokingham in Berkshire in December because of work commitments and begged their new GP for help.
Michael was urgently referred to specialist services where a scan showed a tumour in his bowels that had been growing since the summer.
He had an emergency transfer to children’s cancer specialist services in Oxford hospital in January where he has been hospitalised since.
Michael started chemotherapy in February and it was thought that he was responding well.
But medics broke the news on March 29 that the cancer was Stage 4 and no other treatment options are available following a failed chemotherapy attempt.
His family are struggling to spend time with their cancer-stricken son because mother Anna is heavily pregnant and father Ernest Sigwaza is working full-time.
They have set up a Go Fund Me page which has raised more than £15,000 in just a matter of days so they can spend more precious time with their son in his final weeks.
His devastated father, Ernest wrote on the page: “Sadly, on 29 March 2017 we were informed by the medical team that the cancer is now stage 4 and has spread and that they have no further treatment options available as chemotherapy is not working.
“In other words our dear child’s illness is terminal and therefore he will be discharged home for palliative care.
“This is very heartbreaking and distressing for us as parents and we are struggling to come to terms with this.
“We don’t know how long Michael has left with us but we have been told that his prognosis is now measurable in short weeks to a few months.
“As parents, also expecting Michael’s unborn sister at the end of May, we are now forced to make difficult choices.
“Unfortunately without help I will have no other choice but to continue working under these difficult circumstances so as to meet my family financial commitments as well as prepare for the arrival of our second born.
“We are deeply saddened to imagine that we don’t have much time left with our dear son. Our commitment and wish, as his loving parents, is to spend every second as a family.
“It is obvious to us that it is also Michael’s wish because just leaving the hospital room to take a call, he cries out for us to return.
“My dilemma is I’m in a situation where I cannot care for Michael, support my wife as well as prepare for the arrival of our second born and sustain a job at the same time.
“Your financial support will help me to take a break from work to care for Michael and also support my wife.
“It will also help us to make Michael’s days to be filled with happiness despite the illness limitations by taking him to treasured places like Legoland if his condition allows.
A spokesperson for the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are very concerned to hear about Michael’s illness.
“We have not heard from his family directly, but urge them to contact us so that we can speak directly to them,” she added.