Baby with cough ‘from virus’ had cancer all through his body

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A mum told by doctors her sick son's cough, and other strange symptoms, were down to a virus was devastated to find he had cancerous tumours all through his tiny body.

Parents Keishia Murphy, 27, and Josh Hodgson, 26, from Kirkby became concerned about their son Lee last year when he developed a cough.

The couple, who also have a 10-month old daughter Delila, were told by doctors his symptoms weren't anything to cause any major concern.

Mum Keishia said: "We've been backwards and forwards – Alder Hey, GP, A&E.

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"We kept getting the same diagnosis that it was viral.

"First he had a cough, and his doctors then told me he probably had childhood asthma."

Things didn't improve and and the two-year-old's symptoms kept getting stranger and worse.

After being given antibiotics, the parents said they were reassured that his symptoms were nothing serious but by November they became concerned again.

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Keishia said: "He'd stopped speaking over a few months. I asked the health visitor to come out as he'd also lost his appetite.

"He then had a little fall in the house. We checked him over and found a lump at the back of his leg."

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Scans at Alder Hey on Christmas Eve revealed that baby Lee did have cancer, but the true extent of the devastating prognosis was still to come.

Keishia said: "His walking deteriorated, he was tripping over his own feet. We got told it was a cancer that was curable, and were reassured."

However, on Christmas Day when Lee's health took a marked decline and left him unable to sit up, his mum rushed him to Alder Hey and a further MRI scan revealed the true extent of his condition.

Lee was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive type of cancer, Rhabdosarcoma Alveolar which was at stage four.

Cancerous tumours were found in Lee's legs, lymph nodes, stomach, pelvis, bones and his hip.

A tumour they found at the top of his spine was operated on immediately and removed on Christmas Day.

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Doctors told Lee's devastated parents that he had only a five to 10% chance of beating the disease. Keishia said they were then told that some parents choose not to go ahead with chemotherapy due to the seriousness of the condition.

An MRI scan revealed the true seriousness of the cancer that Lee was suffering with.

She said: "That's the conversation I can remember most. I said you don't know my son."

Lee is now undergoing the strongest chemotherapy he can be given him for his cancer. His parents said after this, doctors have said there are not really any other avenues they can explore.

Their son, however, is proving to be a fighter. After having the tumour removed from the top of his spine, the cancer at the bottom of his spine has disappeared as a result of chemotherapy.

Pictured – Mum Keishia with son Lee

The treatment has also resulted in a reduction in the size of other tumours in his body.

The family have also had some more good news as Keishia is due to give birth to a new baby boy, Sonny, in nine weeks time.

But right now the family's focus is on Lee's battle, with the hope that he continues to respond well to treatment.

The family remain hopeful as Lee appears to be responding well to chemotherapy

A family friend has set up a Justgiving page to help the family give Lee some experiences after the lockdown ends.

You can donate to the fundraising page for the family here.

Keishia added: "The worst thing about the last year is we haven't been able to do anything with him. He's been in lockdown for half his life

"But he's been fantastic to be honest with you. He's the most loving little boy ever.

"He's the happiest when he's at home with us. He's a fighter, he's getting on with it."

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