MOTHER TOLD 11 TIMES BY DOCTORS HER SON WAS CONSTIPATED IN FACT HE HAD CANCER – The failings of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) once again has been highlighted after a mother was told no less than 11 times that her son was simply constipated, while in truth little 5 years old Charlie Woolley had a rare form of cancer known as Neuroblastoma, which is highly aggressive and has one of the lowest survival rates.
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Due to the blunder Charlie’s chance of survival has now been reduced to just 40% due to the amount of times doctors failed to properly diagnose Charlie.
After months of pleading with doctors, who simply gave Charlie laxative medication to ease the constipation, they finally agreed to scan Charlie. The shocking realization unfolded as doctors viewed the scan images and noticed a tumour in his stomach so large that it completely blocked out the view of Charlie’s lungs.
It is more than understandable that Sharon Woolley, Charlie’s mother, is more than furious at the level of care Charlie has received and comes at a time when the NHS is under scrutiny for a number of failings, including attempts to pay off senior staff, in order to keep them quiet over the Mid-Staffordshire Scandal, where Sir David Nicholson still refuses to resign.
Now 5 months on Charlie’s tumour has grown to such as extent that his mother says he looks like he is 5 months pregnant.
“If we hadn’t been fobbed off so much for so long, and Charlie had been diagnosed earlier, maybe he would have much better odds today. I’m just hoping that he can been strong enough to fight this terrible disease. I am so angry that he was sent home by doctors eleven times before it was diagnosed.” Sharon Woolley
It was in January 2012 that Charlie first started to complain of stomach pains and refused to eat. At this point Sharon, as would any concerned mother, took Charlie to see his local GP (General Practioner). The doctor explained to Sharon that it was most likely a simple case of constipation and prescribed laxatives to help with the issue.
Unfortunately this didn’t help and over the pursuing weeks Sharon noticed that Charlie’s stomach was beginning to grow. After another two attempts at the GP Charlie was referred to Blackpool Victoria Hospital and once again doctors have him laxatives and sent him home.
Obviously the diagnoses were wrong and Charlie was in constant pain and his stomach continued to swell as time went on.
When Charlie was just 3 years of age he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a form of autism. This lead doctors to believe that Charlie was most likely to be suffering with constipation as this aliment can often appear in children with Asperger’s Syndrome.
“I told the doctors I wasn’t happy with the diagnosis of constipation and I begged them to scan him, but they wouldn’t.” Sharon Woolley
During March 2012 Sharon once again took him back to his GP and yet again was prescribed laxatives.
In April 2012 Charlie was in so much pain that Sharon took again to his GP and then to an ‘out-of-hours’ surgery unit.
“By now I was almost demented with worry. He was losing weight, his spine was protruding, and his stomach was even more swollen.” Sharon Woolley
During May 2012 Sharon had taken him back to his GP for the ninth time where Charlie’s stomach has grown to such an extent he now looked nine months pregnant. By now Sharon has stopped sending Charlie to school; such was the extent of his constant pain. He couldn’t eat properly, or even stand up straight and in fact crawled around and would often curl in a ball writhe in pain.
At her wits end Sharon had visited the doctor and the hospital no less than 11 times but no one wanted to listen. Finally on the eleventh visit to the GP Charlie was once again referred to the Blackpool Victoria Hospital and told doctors and nurses that she would not move until Charlie had a scan. At last Charlie got the CT Scan he should have received months ago and it was then that the terrible truth of Charlie’s condition finally came to light.
The hospital admitted Charlie immediately and then transferred to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital where Sharon was told that Charlie had Neuroblastoma.
Doctors informed Sharon that the tumour in his stomach was the size of a basketball and the terrible truth was about to unfold.
Due to the constant misdiagnoses Charlie is now diagnosed at Stage 4 of the cancer. At Stage 2 or 3 the survival rate is between 80 to 90%, but at Stage 4 this survival rate drops to less than 40%.
As of today Charlie is undergoing chemotherapy and will need an operation to remove the tumour. Presently there are other treatments but only available in the United States and therefore Sharon is now trying to raise £250,000 so that she can take Charlie to America and get the treatment he so desperately needs.
If you would like to help little Charlie then please share this article so that funds can be raised through the following website – www.travelswithcharlie.org
At Meebal.com our hearts, prayers and wishes are with Charlie and with the help of others hopefully Charlie will be able to pull through. Please, please help Charlie by sharing this article in your social networks.