A two-year-old boy has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer after being constipated for around eight days.
Kodie Robson could not eat and was struggling to sleep when his mum Rachel Fairless, 20, decided to take him to A&E at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead, Newcastle, in February.
An X-ray found a lump in the two-year-old’s stomach and the youngster was soon transferred to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary for blood tests and a CT scan, Chronicle Live reports.
A biopsy was later taken which confirmed the growth was cancerous.
Kodie was diagnosed with a high grade neuroblastoma – a rare cancer that affects around 100 children each year in the UK, mostly under the age of five.
Kodie’s auntie Shae Robson, 22, said: “It broke my heart. I couldn’t breathe. Leon [Kodie’s dad] text me just saying ‘it’s cancer’.
“It was like my heart just stopped. It was the most heartbreaking thing that I’ve ever read.
“You just never expect something like this to happen to your family.”
Sadly, further tests revealed the cancer had already spread to his bone marrow and his bones.
The boy now has to undergo multiple rounds of gruelling chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, stem cell therapy, surgery and blood transfusions over the next 14 months.
Doctors also told the family that he only has a 50 per cent chance of reaching the age of five.
If he manages to beat the cancer, there is a 50/50 chance that it will return, and if it does it will be incurable, doctors said.
Shae said: “To be told he has a 50% chance of survival is horrendous. It’s just unthinkable for a two-year-old boy.
“We just need to not think about that at the moment and try and be strong for Kodie.
“It’s so much for us all to take in as everything has happened so quickly.”
Kodie was discharged from hospital on March 9 but only two days later he was rushed back in with suspected sepsis and was immediately given intravenous antibiotics.
The following day Shae was forced to call for help on the ward after her precious nephew turned grey in colour and began violently shaking.
Doctors then found an infection in his stomach, bowel and gut and told Shae that it could have been fatal if she had not noticed it on time.
Kodie has now started his eight cycles of chemotherapy and will have a scan at the end to determine if his tumour has shrunk enough to be removed.
The boy has lost two stones in weight due to the treatment and is not eating or drinking as much as usual.
Shae said: “Kodie is the cheekiest little boy. He’s so smiley, loving and cuddly. He laughs at everything and loves being the centre of attention. He’s a troublemaker – just like an average two-year-old.
“It’s been really tough because with Covid we’ve only been allowed to have two nominated visitors. Myself and Kodie’s dad have been taking turns with the hospital stays.
“Kodie has gone into himself a little. He’s really quiet at the moment and hasn’t been eating or drinking. He’s lost two stones.
“His voice has changed too – he sounds hoarse.”
Kodie recently underwent a small operation in an attempt to preserve his sperm due to the chemotherapy destroying his cells.
Shae set up a GoFundMe page to help the family pay for costs of travelling to and from the RVI as well as a family holiday to Haggerston Castle later in the year.
She says the family has been left overwhelmed by the generosity of others with more than £3,500 already raised.
Shae said: “We never expected a response like this and we can’t thank everyone enough for their support.
“The holiday is like a family tradition and by then Kodie should have finished his intense chemo so it will give him something to look forward to.
“Kodie is just starting out his horrible journey with cancer and we all just want to be there for him during this awful time.”