It is every parent’s worst nightmare. A normal, healthy young child diagnosed with a terrifying disease.
But what makes it 10 times worse in tiny little Joseph’s case is that his parents had taken him repeatedly to his GP where he was given treatments for all sorts of ailments - they were repeatedly told he was OK.
There is no doubt his leukaemia could have been caught earlier - in this case it took until the youngster was so ill he needed an ambulance before his condition was spotted- but what is the answer? It is clear that every child presented at a GP surgery with a bruise,a sore throat does not (thank goodness) have a life threatening illness.
No individual GPs are being blamed in this case. But this is the second similar case of failure to diagnose the Visitor has reported on this year. What is needed is some fail safe guidance to ensure that cases of leukaemia are caught earlier through basic checks.
This awareness is a community responsibility - parents, teachers, doctors must all be made aware of the warning signs - which is why the Visitor , alongside Joseph’s parents, is launching Joseph’s Journey - to follow his story and campaign for greater awareness of illness that often strikes the youngest and most vulnerable, just like little Joseph.
NICOLA ADAM, EDITOR