4-year-old diagnosed with leukemia after being sent home from school with a sore throat


This time of year, it’s common for kids to be sent home from school with cold or flu-like symptoms.

Whether it’s a cough, a stuffy nose, or a sore throat, more often than not the common cold is to blame. So when one mom’s child was sent home with a sore throat, she assumed rest and lots of fluids would have him back to school in no time. But for Josie Barron, that was not the case.

Barron, a mother of three, found her 4-year-old son Dexter covered in a rash after he was sent home from school. She had a hunch something wasn’t right, and he was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. (Photo: Facebook/Mummy Social)
Barron, a mother of three, found her 4-year-old son Dexter covered in a rash after he was sent home from school. She had a hunch something wasn’t right, and he was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. (Photo: Facebook/Mummy Social)

“The next morning, while he still slept, something made me go and check on him, turning on the lights and pulling back the cover. I found him covered in a rash and an ambulance was sent. At the hospital wires were attached, antibiotics given and blood taken,” she wrote on Facebook. “Within a couple of hours of arriving I was taken into a room where I was told our darling boy has leukemia.”

Barron shared the post to Facebook to warn others about the ways cancer can reveal itself in young children. She admitted her biggest fears were realized after her son was diagnosed.

“I don’t want to see my boy’s name on the white board in the ward for children with cancer. I don’t want to have witnessed my boy’s blood curdling screams while emergency procedures had to be done. I don’t want to be signing consent forms for bone marrow to be taken and drugs to be administered. I don’t want to be walking my child into treatment rooms knowing he’s about to be injected with chemo and I don’t want to be seeing the side effects already kicking in,” wrote Barron. “I want to be back in our lovely home with both his sisters, in our blissfully happy bubble that I didn’t even realize was so happy until now,” she wrote.

For Barron, the outcome is looking positive: Doctors say there is a 90 percent chance her son will return home healthy and happy after treatment. While this turn of events has been scary for the family of five, Barron recognizes they are fortunate to have a positive prognosis, sharing that the family has turned to optimism and humor to get through the tough time.

“Highlights have been my brother being sent home for emergency overnight clothes and returning with a push up bra, a strapless bra and a lacy number. Nearly pulling the crash button on finding Dex’s bed sheets covered in blood before realising a red felt tip pen had leaked. And I cannot help but giggle at the look on Andy’s face when we are discussing the inevitable hair loss and it’s suggested that he could shave his head too,” she wrote.

While the mommy blogger is handing over the reins of her blog for the time being, she is thankful for the ability to spend her time to helping her son get better Dexter still has a way to go with treatments, but Barron says she is thankful for the people who have helped save his life by donating blood, and will be doing the same as soon as her life returns to normal.

“A huge thank you to everyone who gives blood,” she wrote. “Without it our boy wouldn’t have stood a chance. Donating blood myself is one of the first things I’ll be doing when this is all over.”

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