A three-year-old boy died from an incurable cancer – after it was misdiagnosed as a ‘sprained ankle’, his family say.
Logan Maclean’s family grew concerned after his right leg was sore and he started limping but medics dismissed it as a sore ankle.
He started hobbling on his right leg but his loved ones say in October 2016 a doctor from his hometown of Largs, North Ayrshire initially diagnosed a sprained ankle.
But after the toddler started losing strength in his arm, he was taken to A&E at Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire.
After CT and MRI scans, it was revealed little Logan actually had intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a deadly form of brain cancer that has a zero per cent survival rate.
His heartbroken gran Fiona Govan, 49, said: “We took him to a practice in Largs where the doctor thought he had sprained his ankle, because he was walking awkwardly.
“But on his third visit to A&E they noticed weakness in his arm, which then led them to believe it was a neurological problem.
“They thought he’d had a mini stroke.
“At Crosshouse Hospital they did an MRI then he was referred to the Royal Hospital for Sick Kids in Glasgow and he got put on steroids.
“They started to think it was DIPG but they wanted a biopsy to be certain so they could give him the right palliative treatment.”
Logan had six weeks of radiotherapy from around Christmas 2016 to early February, 2017, but it soon became clear Logan didn’t have long left.
Outreach nurses visited Logan’s mother Sapphire Maclean, 29, and Fiona and some of her daughter’s close friends rallied round to help in the youngster’s final months.
Logan passed away at home on October 17, 2017, only weeks after his third birthday.
He is survived by his little brother Ezra, two, who was only seven weeks old when Logan was first diagnosed.
Fiona, a civil servant from Dalry, North Ayrshire, said: “We were like most families, we’d never even heard of it before.
“A child who developed a limp was now terminal.
“We had to come to terms with it that he didn’t have long and my daughter concentrated on making sure he did.
“We done a make a wish trip to Croatia and weekend for two trips to Calums Cabin in Rothesay.
“There’s nothing you can do, you just need to try your best and make your memories.
“Ezra was too young to have memories of his brother, but we’ve got pictures of him he can look at and we hope that one day he might do something in Logan’s memory.
“Logan was just amazing.
“He was such a gentle wee soul.
“His brother’s feisty, but he was gentler.
“It was a privilege to know him and stand with him.”
Now the family are seeking to raise awareness of the debilitating condition, which affects 30 to 40 children each year in the UK.
DIPG is a tumour located in the middle area – or ‘pons’ – of the brain stem and is the second most common severe brain tumour among children.
Fiona said she is “angry” at the lack of funding and research put into finding a cure and has started an online petition, which has gained more than 40,000 signatures.
Fiona said: “Logan was a joy and shouldn’t have died.
“I’m sad. I wish it wasn’t him or any other child but I’m angry about the lack of research that’s been done.
“It goes wider than DIPG. Even with other children’s cancers so many other kids are left to suffer and there needs to be a lot more focus on tackling child cancers generally.”
Fiona only expected to get 10,000 signatures, but after a “rubbish” response from the government after reaching her first petition milestone, she persevered.
She has since been in contact with the House of Commons Petitions Committee who have supported her in her efforts.
Fiona now needs 100,000 by tomorrow (Mon) for it to be debated in parliament.
The gran of two added: “If there’s a way to get it to 100,000 I’m going to go all out and try anything to get the message out there.
“I do genuinely believe there are other families and MPs who won’t accept a rubbish answer and we’ll demand a better response from the government.
“I’m not going to stop.”
Joanne Edwards, director of Acute Services for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, said: “Our condolences and thoughts are with Logan Maclean’s family.
“We would encourage the family to contact us directly with any concerns about the care or treatment provided to their relative.”
Fiona’s petition can be visited at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/239638