Back in June 2019, little Aoife Flanagan, a 3-year old girl from Rayleigh, England began to complain of stomach pains as well as pains in other areas of her body. Her mother, Eilish Flanagan had taken her daughter to the doctor multiple times but claims that each time her daughter’s stomach pains were written off as constipation.
“I took her to see the GP or a consultant doctor 11 times in three weeks. She’d been in and out of the hospital with different infections and problems but they kept telling us she had common child constipation,” she said.
“As a mother, I knew there was something else wrong. I raised my concerns and she had pains in other areas of her body but the doctors never examined her,” Eilish also claimed that her daughter had a visible tumor on her behind that doctors “failed to investigate.”
While these advising doctors were busy questioning whether the girl was being fed a proper diet, and getting enough exercise, a later trip to a new hospital and an x-ray finally revealed that Aoife had a large tumor in her liver that was blocking her bowel.
At this point, Aoife was diagnosed, at the age of 3-years-old with germ cell cancer. While germ cell cancer typically forms in the reproductive cells, they are also able to form in the abdomen, brain, and chest.
While this cancer is treatable, Aiofe’s misdiagnosis for constipation delayed treatment which led to her death.
“She died in my arms,” says Aiofe’s mother.
It was too late.
Some of Aiofe’s organs, tumors and tissues were donated for research purposes. Eilish is now in the process of finalizing her daughter’s charity called Aoife’s Bubbles.
“We are awaiting our charity registration, but we will be the only registered U.K charity for childhood Germ Cell cancer charity. We want to raise as much awareness and educate as many people as possible about the symptoms, diagnosis, and effect of this rare disease,” as stated on the charity’s website.
- Aiofe’s Bubbles https://www.aoifesbubbles.co.uk
- Girl, 3, dies of rare cancer after doctors diagnosed her with constipation: ‘She died in my arms’ https://www.foxla.com/news/girl-3-dies-of-rare-cancer-after-doctors-diagnosed-her-with-constipation-she-died-in-my-arms
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