A mum says she took her eight-year-old daughter to the GP five times with crippling back pain before she was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer.
Sharon Mcalister, 35, took her daughter Kaiann to three GPs, five times before the youngster was told she had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).
The worried mum-of-three says she knew something was wrong with her daughter when she started complaining about the pain in early December, last year.
And by the time she was diagnosed on February 12, little Kaiann was in agony, on morphine and told her spine was fractured and crumbling.
Kaiann, from Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, has now started chemotherapy at the Royal Hospital for Children in Yorkhill, Glasgow.
And although medics say at this stage treatment will be successful, mum Sharon said no child should be “going through this”.
Sharon said: “If I could take the pain away from Kaiann I would. No child should be going through this.
“Kaiann had pale and yellowing skin and frequent high temperatures and infections but her main symptom was back pain.
“She had started to be distant, snappy and scared with the pain.”
Sharon did not want to name the GP practice involved but said her daughter was seen by one GP three times, another once and then a different doctor, who referred her for a hospital appointment.
But Sharon, who also has two sons, Kalin aged 17 and Karsson who is 20 months, did not wait for that appointment and rushed her daughter directly to A&E.
A consultant at the children’s hospital initially thought the little girl had osteoporosis – a condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break.
But an MRI scan later revealed the devastating diagnosis.
Sharon added: “I had seen the same GP three times, then another doctor and then the final doctor finally listened to me.
“I felt as if I was getting fobbed off. It was put down to muscular pain or a virus.
“Kaiann was getting really scared because she couldn’t walk properly and she was getting spasms in her back that were leaving her in agony.
“She came out of school one day, sobbing and bent over and I thought ‘enough is enough.’
“I took her to the doctor again and finally they listened.
“They gave me a referral for hospital but that night I took her to A&E at the children’s hospital.
“They thought it was osteoporosis initially as she had fractures and her spine was crumbling.”
Kaiann was sent home with plans to send her for an MRI in March but collapsed that day and was admitted to the children’s hospital, where a scan revealed she had leukaemia.
Sharon, who is a make-up artist, said: “I just collapsed when I heard it but I knew they were going to tell me it as cancer.
“From the day she was born, we’ve been inseparable, stuck to each other like glue.
“She’s such a mummy’s girl and the most caring loving wee girl ever.
“She’s planning to donate her hair to the Little Princess Trust.
She added: “It’s been so hard but we will get there and my girl will fight and get better.
“Not every child has the same symptoms but please if you feel the doctors aren’t listening to you and deep down you feel something isn’t right then keep pestering them until they listen.
“Maybe it’s mothers instinct but us mum’s are usually right so don’t stop fighting to be seen.”
Sharon is married to Mark, 33, who works as a cable joiner and electrician and has had to temporarily take the time off work to look after Kaiann.
The family has created a Justgiving page and readers who wish to donate can vist https://bit.ly/2SklIxI