Mom says her 10-year-old daughter died after doctors dismissed her symptoms as period. The mother is now raising awareness to help parents recognize the symptoms. The mother also said her daughter felt unwell and had been struggling to eat in the morning. This was on and off for around a month, but their doctor dismissed the symptoms and reportedly said it could be her period. The mother was not happy with the diagnosis so took her daughter to another hospital and was shocked to discover that she had a lump. The 10-year-old child was diagnosed with a soft tissue sarcoma that can occur at any age, but most often presents in children. The young girl died after going through a range of surgeries, followed by nine rounds of chemotherapy and seven weeks of radiotherapy.
The unfortunate mother, Charlotte Fairall, told ITV that she didn’t know what the symptoms of cancer were before her 10-year-old daughter, Sophie, was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer – rhabdomyosarcoma. According to the health officials, this type of cancer forms in children’s soft tissue.
According to Charlotte, her young daughter had been having consistent stomach pains, nausea and abnormal bleeding, but doctors suggested the symptoms could be her period.
The mom also said that in July 2020, her daughter felt unwell and had been struggling to eat in the morning. This was on and off for around a month, but their doctor dismissed the symptoms and reportedly said it could be her period.
But, the mother was not happy with the diagnosis so took her daughter to another hospital and was shocked to discover that she had a lump.
The 10-year-old child was diagnosed with a rhabdomyosarcoma – a soft tissue sarcoma that can occur at any age, but most often presents in children. Unfortunately, the young girl died in September 2021 after going through a range of surgeries.
During an interview with the Daily Mail, Charlotte Fairall reportedly said: “Sophie began complaining about feeling unwell around July 2020. She was complaining of stomach pains, feeling sick and struggling to eat in the morning when she woke up.
That was on and off from July and more consistent in August. She started bleeding and we had seen the doctor before that, but was told it was other things. You hear that childhood cancer is rare, so as a parent you think if it’s rare it’s never going to happen to us.
You think of all the other signs and symptoms, and think, “Oh it will be other things”. Now I know it’s one in 450 children that get childhood cancer I would’ve probably been different. She had some of the real red flags. Abnormal bleeding is definitely a red flag, stomach pain and consistent pains in the stomach was another one, and that feeling of nausea.
We know all children feel sick but it’s the persistence of it. Those were all flags but I didn’t know the signs and symptoms. I asked lots of people, “Do you know if your child had cancer, would you know the signs and symptoms to look out for?”.”
The mom said she took her daughter to a hospital after being unhappy with her doctor’s diagnosis.
Charlotte Fairall told Daily Mail: “They asked me in the hospital, “How long has she had this lump for?” and I said “What lump?”. They found a 12cm tumour in her abdomen. Abdomen is quite a tricky area to locate.
They said to me it’s cancer and they’ve managed to remove 95% of the tumor but they couldn’t remove it all, so then we started treatment with chemo. She was quite adamant that they were going to make her better. She kept saying ‘”Doctors make you better and I know they will for me”. She just had that positive outlook all the way through. She painted ceramics while in hospital because she wanted more toys and activities.”
The mother said her daughter underwent surgery to remove most of the tumor in September 2020, followed by nine rounds of chemotherapy and seven weeks of radiotherapy. She also said her young daughter didn’t want to be left alone, and so she didn’t leave her side. In June last year, Sophie’s cancer returned and the family decided to draw up a list of activities she could do. Sophie wanted to create a greater awareness of cancer symptoms in children. Sophie died in September 2021 after bravely battling the illness, the Mirror reports.
Charlotte Fairall reportedly said: “We want the way children are diagnosed quicker. A lot of children are diagnosed stage three and four. They need to be diagnosed quicker, we know that the outcome if they are diagnosed earlier is better.
We want a national campaign of the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer, so that the public are aware, alongside training for GPs and nurse practitioners, because once they qualify there is no current course on childhood cancer that they can access. There’s a huge loophole in that.
I don’t want any parent to be in our position to have to sit and watch their child die, knowing if research had happened and investment been put in for cancer. There has been so little change in sarcomas and brain tumors in decades and this has to start changing.”