My little girl was sent home with Calpol as doctors ignored me 10 times – now she's battling cancer | The Sun
18th January 2023

WHEN little Theano Zahorszki started to feel unwell last year, her issues were dismissed by GPs, her mum has said.

Now the three-year-old is battling with leukaemia after her mum said medics ignored her condition ten times.


According to Cancer Research UK, there are around 9,900 new cases of leukaemia every day in the UK.

Mum Ilona Zahorszki, from Hamilton, Scotland, said at first, Theano was suffering with cold-like symptoms, with medics saying this was normal for children just starting nursery.

But the frequency of the infections continued, with colds appearing every two weeks.

Medics put her symptoms down to everything from constipation to allergic reactions to antibiotics.

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Ilona said she knew her little girl was unwell, but said 'no one would listen to her'.

"I went to the GP, A&E and NHS 24. I saw more than 10 doctors," she told the Daily Record.

Little Theano was then suffering with urine infections, and rash like red stamp marks on her leg, her mum said.

At one point, Ilona said a GP receptionist asked her: 'are you here again', when she came in for an appointment.

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But gradually, Theano started to change and her parents grew even more concerned.

Each time she went to the doctor, Ilona asked them to take blood tests.

By mid to late November, the once active child was struggling to walk, and by December she was too ill to go to nursery, her mum said.

Theano started to get new symptoms including a pain in her leg, but her parents were told it was soft tissue damage, before then being advised it was a form on infant arthritis.

"We were sent home with Calpol and Neurofen but they never checked any bloods," Ilona added.

The symptons of leukaemia you need to know

The NHS said symptoms of the illness usually develop over a few weeks and become worse over time.

Signs include:

  1. looking pale or "washed out"
  2. feeling tired or weak
  3. breathlessness
  4. frequent infections
  5. unusual and frequent bruising or bleeding, such as bleeding gums or nosebleeds
  6. losing weight without trying to

Towards the end of December, Theano's skin started to peel and she had a high temperature, of which she was prescribed antibiotics for, her mum said.

On New Year's Eve, the youngster was finally referred for blood tests and medics quickly realised little Theano was unwell.

On January 5 she was transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow for chemotherapy.

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"One doctor told me she would only have had a month or two if I hadn’t come in when I did," Ilona said.

Doctors have now said the little girl has a 'very good chance of survival'.

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