Alison (Mum) rang - she just wanted to speak to someone. The hospital had suggested that she rang us. Alison is having great difficulty in accepting everything that is happening to her family, especially to her daughter, Emma, now 12 years old. Her son, Ben, is 14 years old.
Just over a year ago Alison and her husband, Paul, were very alarmed when their daughter started complaining of pains in her legs. Over the next few months they were back and forth to their local GP and all he ever said was to rest and the pains would ease. Emma was very athletic and represented her school and the County in many events. They listened to their doctor and Emma stopped all sports but her pains got worse, not better. Then 8 months after the pains had first started, they saw a consultant and were very pleased that at last something would be done. However after examining Emma he couldn't find anything wrong and told them that not to worry unnecessarily.
As time went on Emma could barely manage stairs and was deteriorating rapidly. Paul decided that enough was enough and demanded some treatment and it was agreed to send Emma for physiotherapy. When Emma arrived for her first session, the physiotherapist said that she was concerned and refused to commence treatment and referred Emma back to the hospital. After further tests it was found that Emma had Osteosarcoma. The tumour was so large that it proved difficult to treat, also after 6 weeks of chemo they discovered a second tumour in her hip.
The family are devastated - if only the treatment had started sooner, perhaps they could have saved Emma's leg. Mum is so angry and hurt. She feels that she has let her daughter down. She feels guilty and frightened. They are returning to hospital on Monday to be told whether Emma must have her leg amputated from the knee or from the thigh and have a hip replacement. As Mum said 'we don't want either, we just want Emma to be a happy, whole, little girl again'.Since diagnosis everything has moved/deteriorated so quickly that they have had no time to accept or understand what is happening. There are no answers, but Mum needed a shoulder to cry on, someone to talk to, and we were there. Mum was glad to be able to talk and have someone to listen and continued her contact with us over several months. Many people, parents, grandparents and others need someone to talk to and we are there to listen.
73 people utilised our befriending service in the past year.