Parents’ worst nightmare after son’s ‘tonsillitis’ turns out to be leukaemia

A couple have spoken out about their heartbreak after being told their three-year-old son had cancer, and not tonsillitis as they had first thought.

Toddler Archie Galloway is currently in the middle of fighting for his life after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

The three-year-old was diagnosed in March after his parents took him to get checked and thought he had tonsillitis.

Lisa and Andi received the shocking news on March 6 after the little tot had been battling exhaustion and loss of appetite since November last year.

They began to get worried when Archie became too unwell to even enjoy his Christmas presents, reports Daily Record.

Lisa, a teacher at Uphall Primary school, said it was heartbreaking to watch her son’s decline.

She said: “Archie went from a high energy boy to being unable to climb the stairs.

“On Christmas day, Archie could barely lift his head off the couch.

"He definitely wasn’t right so Andi took him in to St John’s hospital in Livingston.

"I was at home looking after our daughter Leah when I got a phone call from Andi.

“I expected him to say that Archie was okay and it was just a bad case of tonsillitis.

"But I could tell straight away from the sound of Andi’s voice that he was upset.

“Tests had shown up what the doctor described as a blood disorder.

"Archie was blue lighted through to hospital in Edinburgh the next morning.

“Archie would at any other time have loved a trip at speed in an ambulance but he was too unwell to even notice.”

When the diagnosis finally came through he started chemotherapy immediately but later he faced a second major hurdle after getting pneumonia.

Andi, 43, and Lisa, 42, of Bathgate, West Lothian know first hand how important research is in helping to save more lives.

Archie faces three years of treatment to save his life but without research is future would have looked far bleaker.

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Andi, a Station Commander with the Scottish Fire Service, said: “Archie never fails to amaze us.

“This year has been the hardest year of our lives.

"We have down days and moments when we just think, how are we here?

“But Archie’s incredible bravery and resilience, even during the most difficult times has kept us going.

“He knows he has leukaemia and he’s getting medicine to make it better.

"The doctors have been brilliant.

"They made it very clear from day one that they’re working towards an achievable goal of curing Archie.

“We went from the desperation of first hearing the word cancer to hope.

It was the second time the family had been touched by the disease.

Archie’s grandma, Julie Hardwick was just 56 when she died on February 14, 2017 from bowel cancer.

She had lived long enough to see a 4D baby scan of Archie, who was her first grandchild, but died three months before Archie was born.

Now it was Archie’s turn to battle the disease and both Lisa and Andi were determined to be there every step of the way.

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But as the coronavirus safety restrictions tightened after the March 23 nationwide lockdown, only one parent was allowed to stay by his bedside in hospital – with the other parent facing an anxious wait at home for updates.

In April, treatment was delayed after Archie got pneumonia. He needed surgery to flush his right lung with a saline solution to help his recovery.

Lisa said: “Archie would ask, what’s wrong with my body?

“We had to put our trust 100 per cent in the doctors and know they’d make him better.

Archie is recovering well and he should start maintenance chemotherapy this September to keep the leukaemia in remission.

Lisa admitted: “You live your fears when you go to bed at night.

"I’ve cried for many reasons.

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“I’ve cried because I can’t believe this is happening.

"I’ve cried and asked why does this have to happen to Archie?

"I’ve cried at the thought of what that next sentence could have been after we were told our son had cancer."

Luckily the doctor’s next words were, 'but this cancer is very treatable, we have a good plan'.

Lisa said: “It’s thanks to research that children like Archie are doing so well today.

"That’s why raising money for Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People is so important."

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