A young mum has slammed doctors after she was forced to Google her daughter’s symptoms in order to correctly diagnose a tumour on her neck – the size of a GOLF BALL.
Paige Franks, 20, was left horrified after noticing the unsightly 9cm lump on the back of little Mila Stevenson’s neck after she gave birth five months ago.
Doctors at the Royal Stoke University Hospital diagnosed the youngster with a haemangioma following an MRI scan and provided the drug Propranolol to try and reduce the growth.
But Paige was not happy with the medication – which she says made her daughter freezing cold and struggling to breathe – and called for blood tests to be carried out.
After becoming frustrated at the lack of action, she decided to research the condition on the internet and eventually persuaded medics at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital to look at her case.
Paige blasted Royal Stoke Hospital – who even suggested chemotherapy for the baby – after tests revealed the growth will reduce naturally over time and required NO treatment.
The mum-of-two, from of Chesterton, Staffs., has accused her local hospital of putting her daughter’s life at risk by giving her unnecessary drugs and offering gruelling chemotherapy.
She fumed: “It has been terrifying and horrible. I was left in tears literally begging for help because I knew what they were doing wasn’t right.
“Nobody could properly tell me what it was or offer any kind of full explanation. All it would have taken were a few further tests to find out exactly what it was.
“I had to do all the research by myself when I got home.
“I sat up until the early hours of the morning trying to look at what type of haemangioma it was as mother’s intuition was telling me they were wrong.
“The drugs made her hands cold and it was difficult for her to breathe. I should have stuck with my gut instinct that something was wrong.
“In my opinion the drugs weren’t working and the side effects were worrying me.”
After originally contacting doctors in the USA she was pointed in the direction of Great Ormond Street and she tracked down one of the nurses on Facebook and sent her a picture of the tumour.
Full-time mum Paige then received a response from the nurse in January saying her daughter urgently needed examining.
Meanwhile, Stoke Hospital had said they would only carry out further blood tests on three-week-old Mila “when she was older”.
She added: “I contacted Great Ormond Street and they told me about the tests I needed to see which type of haemangioma Mila had.
“They told me she needed urgent attention where at Stoke there was no urgency at all.
“They just told me they would do the blood count when she was older.
“They even suggested chemo. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
“It was the doctors at Great Ormond Street who helped us to find out what the issue was and that it would reduce in size over time naturally. She never needed chemo at all.
“They found it was a rapidly involuting congenital hemangioma rather than a noninvoluting congenital hemangioma, which is more dangerous.
“But is Stoke had carried out blood tests they could have told me that straight away and not put me through weeks of worry and anguish.
“The tumour has reduced in size a lot and it is a relief to finally know what it is.
“She may have to have surgery to get the growth removed when it shrinks right down but it was incredibly frustrating to learn she did not need any treatment.
“Stoke wanted to give her chemotherapy as well, I feel the drugs they gave her or wanted to give her would have made her very weak and could have even killed her.
“She was only born weighing 4lbs 10oz, and I don’t know if she would have survived that sort of treatment.
“It’s frightening that one hospital could be so dismissive and risk my child’s life like that.”
Officials at Great Ormond Street have declined to comment on the case but Royal Stoke
Hospital defended its treatment.
Consultant paediatrician Dr Aswath Kumar said: “An MRI scan was taken to confirm a
haemangioma and we worked with Birmingham Children’s Hospital regarding future treatments.
“Propranolol has been used successfully to treat some forms of haemangioma and is not known to cause any serious side effects.
“We were very clear to Mila’s mother that while there was no guarantee that Propranolol would work, as the tumour was in the neck and very close to the blood vessels and trachea, this was a clinically-appropriate course of treatment.
“We are sorry Mila’s mother felt she had to seek treatment elsewhere.
“However the most important thing is that Mila’s condition has started to show signs of improvement.”
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