A one-year-old who contracted sepsis from an infected chicken pox spot has now been diagnosed with an ultra-aggressive form of cancer.
Little Fletcher Smith caught chickenpox from one of his older sisters who both had the infection on July 3.
But he showed signs of something more serious when his head swelled up days later.
Mum Kerry, 32, rushed Fletcher to hospital, where doctors told her he had contracted sepsis, a potentially fatal illness, from one of the spots which had become infected.
The toddler was put on a course of intravenous antibiotics and discharged but after a few days Kerry noticed Fletcher’s temperature was high so she took him to A&E.
Doctors found he had another blood infection and further tests revealed he had suppressed bone marrow, which results in decreased blood cell levels.
On July 25, just three weeks after catching chickenpox and two days after his first birthday, Fletcher was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer called acute myeloid leukemia.
Distraught Kerry, from Bridgwater, Somerset, said: “When we heard Fletcher has cancer we just broke down.
“I felt like someone had stamped on my chest, it was horrific. It’s a surreal experience to go through.
“This will be a long road for us as a family and we know worse days are coming.”
Since his diagnosis, Fletcher has had his first dose of chemotherapy and remains in the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children receiving treatment today (Mon).
Mum Kerry, dad James, 32, and their other two children, five-year-old Olivia and Florence, three, are at his bedside.
James was working as an electrician at the time of Fletcher’s diagnosis but has taken time off to be with his family.
Speaking about their situation, Kerry has said it’s difficult to comprehend.
She added: “We don’t even know if we will have our little boy at the end.
“There are some days when he’s happy, sitting up and playing and I forget what’s even happening.
“Then he has a bad day and everything hits me like a brick wall.
“The effects of the cancer are starting to show, his belly and cheeks have become swollen, his eyes are sunken and his hair is starting to recede.
“What’s happening hasn’t fully sunk in yet, it’s too soon.
“Cancer is one of those things that you always expect to happen to somebody else, but it doesn’t discriminate.”
Fletcher is currently on a clinical trial and his treatment is expected to last up to seven months.
The Smith family are crowdfunding on GoFundMe to help pay for Fletcher’s care.
Donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/for-fletcher-and-family