Saturday , August 13 2022

Mother who thought the boy's crying eye was shocked by the cancer diagnosis shock


A mother who thought her four-year-old boy's eye was from a common cold was lost when she was diagnosed with cancer.

Harri Cooke, from Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, was a happy and healthy man in front of his mother, 33-year-old Carly, noticed that he had an eye crying in September.

After initially believing that her son had a common cold that caused conjunctivitis, it was not until Harri's face began to swell that further tests had been carried out and a deadly cancerous mass found behind the nose.

In January of this year, Harri was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma – a rare type of bone cancer – and since then he needed painful cycles of chemotherapy in an attempt to shrink the tumor in front of him, and to have a pioneering treatment in the US.

Harri Cooke, from Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma

Harri is now in remission after nine months of treatment and his mother, Carly, shares their story to raise awareness.

Carly, a massage therapist on his own, said: "Harri often had colds, so at first I did not think too much about his crying eye.

Doctors agreed that it was possible to be a cold, but after weeks passed it was believed to have a blocked tear duct.

"He did not seem to disturb him, he was so happy all the time.

"But when his face began to swell, we were sent by our doctor to a specialist in the eye.

"When I arrived, there were six doctors, and everyone seemed worried.

"The NHS did everything it could, but we do not realize how serious it was.

"Harri's bone structure around the eye changed, indicating the malicious mass behind her.

A deadly cancerous mass was discovered behind Harri's nose

"His guy was so rare – I was in a full shock.

– You never think she's gonna be your baby.

Six days after Harri's diagnosis, chemotherapy began on February 2 of this year.

Carly and her husband, James Cooke, 30, working as a mechanic, had to concentrate entirely on Harri's treatment.

His cancer would require treatment available only in America, and other NHS treatments.

To give Harri the best possible odds, his cancer requires treatment with proton beam therapy – a type of radiotherapy that uses protons as opposed to X-rays.

Carly added, "I have another younger son called Josh, which is now 14 months, but we had to focus on Harri.

Harri has undergone proton beam therapy – a type of radiotherapy that uses protons as opposed to X-rays

Family friends have managed to raise 6,000 pounds for him to receive for proton beam therapy.

"The NHS finances treatment and spending, but we could not have allowed James to take 12 weeks of work.

"And despite everything she smiled, it was so hard to follow him through it, it was like torture."

Harri has undergone 30 treatments in Florida, USA – which continued every year under general anesthesia for six weeks – combined with 14 cycles of chemotherapy.

Fortunately, everything was worth it, and the young man is now in remission, but his parents are now worried about how long-term treatment will affect them.

Carly said: "I think that only a percentage of fundraising from large cancer charities targets children in particular.

"The drug is much tougher for children.

Harri has undergone 30 treatments in Florida, combined with 14 rounds of chemotherapy

"Harri's treatments mean he may have growth problems, problems with his teeth and are more likely to have cancer later in life.

"He had to have over 20 blood transfusions to try and save his life."

Carly urges other parents to recognize the signs, however small, about this deadly disease and to help raise awareness of how a child can be affected.

Carly said, "It's so rare and unexpected that it's hard to know what to look for.

Blood resources are currently depleted, and donors are needed for both blood transfusions and platelet transfusions.

"Charity associations like CLIC Sargent, a charitable organization for children with cancer, are brilliant to help families and inform them."

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