After doctors brushed off a young girl’s symptoms as an ear infection, the girl’s mother correctly diagnosed her daughter with blood cancer.
Michelle Birch first noticed that something was seriously wrong with her young daughter, Alia-Grace, when the four-year-old kept falling asleep at her nursery.
Birch took Alia-Grace to a GP in early July, who dismissed her fears and sent her home with antibiotics, saying that the British girl was probably suffering from a viral infection.
The 23-year-old mother took to the internet to look further into Alia-Grace’s symptoms.
“I went on to the internet and put her symptoms into Google and a number of medical websites suggested it could be cancer,” Birch explained.
When she brought Alia-Grace to A&E several days later, tests revealed that the girl had an extremely high white blood cell count. Doctors diagnosed the young girl with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Alia-Grace was admitted to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, from where she was transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where she started chemotherapy.
She now needs drugs every day, and a lumbar puncture on a weekly basis. The Mirror reports that the 4-year-old faces two years of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
“I don’t think she fully understands. She knows she’s poorly but not how serious it is,” Birch said.
“It’s horrible, you never expect something like this to happen to your baby girl,” the mother added.
Alia-Grace’s hair started falling out days after she began treatment, prompting Birch to shave her own hair off, too, in support of her daughter.
“At first she wasn’t happy when we said she’s going to lose her hair, because it was really long and she thought she was Rapunzel,” Alia-Grace’s grandmother, Joanne Horton-Birch, said.
“Bits had been coming out, then the day it all came out in a big clump she looked in a mirror and said, ‘it’s okay, it will grow back,’” Horton-Birch said.
Photo Source: Mirror