Patrick’s story

The words – “it looks like leukaemia” – are not something any parent wants to hear,
so when the doctor said it to Patrick’s mum she was in shock.

Friday 6 July 2018 is a day Kimberley will never forget. She’d taken her (then) six-year-old son Patrick to Townsville Hospital Emergency Department because he had been unwell with fevers, lethargy, night sweats, and no appetite for eight days. A blood test revealed too many immature white blood cells and a doctor announced, “It looks like leukaemia”.

Patrick was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML), which is rare in children.  The next afternoon, Kimberley and Patrick were taken to the airport in an ambulance and flown to the Queensland Children’s Hospital. Many tests later it was discovered Patrick was also in heart failure.

This meant six months of intensive treatment with no prospect of going home until it was completed.

Mum, Kimberley talks about the support they received from the Children’s Hospital Foundation during their lengthy stay in hospital, “Throughout treatment Patrick was gifted teddies, colouring books, quilts and pillowcases by the Children’s Hospital Foundation. Bedside Play volunteers would come around every weekday for a play”.

“He could pick a board game, play-doh, or cards, and Uno was a big favourite. He was even lucky enough to have two music therapists work with him throughout his treatment.   Music therapy helped him to find his calm, and it was perfect for when he was waking up from anaesthetic”.

“The teams who worked together to give him good experiences for positive reflection were simply wonderful”.

“Patrick even hosted an episode of Juiced TV for National Science Week, with his cousin Ella and sister Charlotte. The Children’s Hospital Foundation organised everything, and we were always given updates on special events or visits which were being brought to the hospital.”

Story written and details correct June 2019

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