Scots mum’s nightmare after tot’s ’emotional’ mood leads to leukemia diagnosis

A Scots mum has urged other parents to trust their gut after her tot’s emotional mood and high temperature led to her being diagnosed with cancer.

Four-year-old Ferryn Broom’s life would change dramatically last month, when doctors delivered the devastating news that she had leukemia within just one week of her symptoms appearing,

Mum Annabell Broom, 32, has now told how she instinctively knew something was ‘off’, when Ferryn suddenly developed a habit of being upset and warm at bedtime.

The mum, who lives in the Highlands near Golspie, took her daughter to the doctor, determined to have the change in her ‘healthy and fit’ little girl investigated, but nothing could have prepared her for what was to come.

Annabell said: “I took her to the doctor on March 31, because she was so healthy and fit and normal. So when she started becoming over-emotional about small things and her temperature started spiking at night I just knew something was off.”

Ferryn developed a temperature and became ’emotional’

Ferryn’s GP took some blood tests as a precaution and mum-of-two Annabell took her daughter home expecting her to need little more than antibiotics to help her feel better.

But the situation soon became every parent’s worst nightmare, when the family were woken up by paramedics banging the door of their home at 1am on Friday April 1.

Medics explained that Ferryn needed urgent medical treatment and rushed her and confused mum Annabell to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

The family smile together
Left to right: Ferryn, with brother Joseph, dad Ed and mum Annabell

Shortly afterwards, doctors at the hospital broke the devastating news to Annabell that Ferryn had cancer, which further tests confirmed was acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

The tot was then transferred to Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital by ambulance, where she was given an emergency blood transfusion.

Annabell said: “When the paramedics came to the door all we knew was that Ferryn was extremely poorly. It was terrifying.

“They wouldn’t tell me what was going on in the ambulance, because I was having a panic attack, but they broke the news to me very gently when we got to the hospital.”

Ferryn, who has since had another blood transfusion, is now set for six months of intensive treatment undergoing grueling chemotherapy.

This will be followed by two years of outpatient treatment and her parents have been told that she’s unlikely to get the all-clear until she is around eight-years-old.

Now Annabell is urging other parents to trust their instincts when they see any change in their child’s health or behaviour.

She added: “I caught this early, because I noticed a subtle change in her.

She added: “My advice to every parent is that even if everyone around you is saying ‘it’s fine’, push for what to feel you need because if I hadn’t pushed it would have been a later diagnosis and we could be in a very different situation.”

Ferry on beach with mum
Ferryn is facing intensive treatment

Now Annabell and Ferryn’s dad, Ed, who are both self-employed, face another nightmare scenario with the family separated by a 160 mile-journey between the hospital and home.

The three hour round trip is costing the family hundreds of pounds in fuel, leaving them fearful of being plunged into debt.

Annabell said: “I am staying at the hospital with Ferryn while my husband is at home with our son, Joseph. We’d like to see each other every day, but it’s costing around £80 each time to make the journey.

“The rising cost of fuel on top of our reduced income is stressful. We will do what we have to do and the most important thing is that we have Ferryn.

A fundraiser has been launched to support the family, with over £1,000 already raised as their community rally together.

You can donate to Ferryn’s fundraiser here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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