A mother is warning fellow parents to watch out for unusual health symptoms after claiming doctors said her six-year-old son’s cancer was “viral infection”.
Keiley Ebbs first noticed something was wrong with her little boy, Jett, when he began complaining of pain in his arms and legs, experienced morning sickness and became clumsy, randomly walking into things.
She was allegedly told by medical professionals that the symptoms were a sign of a viral infection.
Sensing in her gut that there was more to her son’s behaviour and after seven visits to A&E, the mum pushed for further investigation.
A devastating scan revealed a brain tumour travelling down his spine.
“I had it in my head that he had a brain tumour, I’d seen the symptoms before in my job as a carer.
“I was frustrated that the doctors kept saying the same thing and didn’t seem to listen to me.
“I feel like they thought I was exaggerating but I knew there was something seriously wrong with him.”
Returning to A&E for the seventh time on 13 December, doctors agreed to give Jett a CT scan and the results were horrifying.
He was diagnosed with a brain tumour and was immediately rushed to Sheffield hospital where he underwent a 10-hour surgery to remove the mass.
She said: “It’s so hard to even explain, it was so quick.
“They said ‘Jett has a brain tumour, we are blue-lighting you to Sheffield’.
“I can remember sitting in the ambulance ride.
“Not knowing what was going on, he was so excited to be in an ambulance and my journey was a complete blur, it was so bizarre.
“The nurse kept checking on me but I couldn’t speak.
“With the surgery, we had to sign his life away as he might never wake up.
“It was so strange and heartbreaking.”
Following the initial surgery, Jett underwent 11 further procedures including several shunt surgeries and a craniotomy.
Unfortunately, the shunts kept failing, having to be redone several times before he contracted a severe infection, a common issue with shunts.
Keiley said: “He was really poorly, they had to put him in a coma.
“They told me then he may never wake up.
“The coma should have been two weeks but, in Jett fashion, he decided to wake up after five days, trying to pull out his tubes.
“It was a miracle.”
Tragically, the tumour has wrapped around Jett’s spine and he was left without movement in his legs.
Thankfully, however, the cancer is in remission and Keiley says he has never lost his positivity or smile.
She said: “He went through it all with his parsnip teddy, Pascal, who he has had since he was a baby, on his side.
“Pascal even had bandages on his head.
“Jett had changed so much that people only recognised him by the parsnip.”
Although he is through the worst of it, Jett has been left almost paralysed, unable to walk and has suffered severe brain damage.
He’s now permanently a wheelchair user.
Doctors are still unable to provide a prognosis at this stage.
Keiley now advises that parents follow their guts and look out for any warning signs, and push doctors for answers.
She said: “Jett was in a lot of pain in his arm and legs, he was constantly crying in pain.
“It was due to the cancer going down his spine and crushing parts of him.
“He’s not the same child.
“Don’t think that you are being an overprotective parent.
“Push and push if you think there is something wrong.
“He has gone through all of this with a smile on his face, and is so full of life.”