A mother saved her daughter’s life when she recognized distinctive symptoms of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) on her skin after reading a story about another affected child.
Her one-year-old baby was showing bruises and other red marks on her skin, but otherwise seemed completely healthy. The mother, Laura Handley, then realized the markings were similar to what had appeared on 13-year-old James O’Mara, who had recently passed away from cancer.
Mom took her little girl to the doctor due to the skin markings she had read about.
29-year-old Handley took her daughter, Tazmin, to see the doctor, and a bone marrow biopsy was performed.
Sure enough, those results confirmed Handley’s suspicions, and her daughter was diagnosed with AML, a rare and fast-spreading cancer. Tazmin began treatment immediately.
They were stunned, but relieved to know the truth.
“We are just so shocked,” said Handley in an interview with the Daily Mail. Both Handley and her partner, Chris Carpenter, as well as their five children, are grateful she acted on her mother’s instinct.
“If I hadn’t read that story about that poor lad I wouldn’t have taken her to the doctor,” she said.
At first they thought their daughter was “just clumsy.”
Tazmin’s parents had originally thought their child had a simple coordination deficiency, but all her bruises were actually the symptoms of the cancer.
“You have to trust your instinct, I just knew something was wrong with our princess,” said the mother from Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire. “I just thought she was clumsy.”
Her treatment began immediately.
Tazmin was then brought to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for chemotherapy, where they found she also had myelodysplasia, a blood disorder that decreases the number of healthy blood cells.
Handley said it’s devastating how quickly these diseases can turn deadly, but you would never know it to look at the little girl.
“She seems so healthy. I keep thinking of this young lad’s family, it’s so heart-breaking.”
Early detection has allowed Tazmin to continue fighting.
James O’Mara died just eight days after he became very sick. He had developed red marks and bruises all over his skin.
Tazmin, however, is still fighting her cancer, and thanks to an earlier diagnosis, she will have a better chance of surviving.
About 2,600 people each year are diagnosed with AML in the UK.
Source: The news story that saved a toddler’s life: Mother realised her 1-year-old daughter’s bruises were signs of a rare cancer – after reading about a teenage boy who died from the same disease from Daily Mail.