Maddy was only seven when she was diagnosed with leukaemia.
Within days of her GP referring her for tests, Maddy was at Perth Children’s Hospital, starting chemotherapy. Hearing your child has cancer is something every parent dread. But that was just the beginning for Maddy and her family. Unfortunately, with her immune system weakened by her intensive treatment, she quickly developed a terrible fungal meningitis infection.
“She was just off,” remembers her mum, Lauren. “She had really bad headaches. She lost a lot of weight very quickly. She had sore bones and she was suddenly just covered in bruises. We just knew something was not right.”
Maddy’s parents were told she might only have a few weeks to live – she couldn’t survive.
As the fight for Maddy’s life continued, her list of procedures grew. She needed lumbar punctures twice a week, every week, for five months, and MRI scans every two or three days. At one point she was taking eight different anti-fungals along with four types of pain medications. She has been under general anaesthetic 50 times.
Amazingly, Maddy beat the odds. She had to learn to walk again and her chemotherapy is ongoing but recently Rachel gave us some wonderful news.
“She’s in good health. She’s a happy kid and she’s very sweet, always thinking of other people. We just had such incredible care at PCH. Looking back on it, we’re just so grateful to have such amazing support.” – Lauren, Maddy’s Mum.
With Christmas so close, please spare a thought for Maddy, and other WA kids who will need hospital treatment during the festive season. For children and their families who are living with the uncertainty of cancer, it’s incredibly difficult, especially at Christmas. But your gift can help a child get well and stay well.
Save lives. Please give now.