Doctors said “if you take her home, she’s going to die”Danielle, Charlotte's mum
When Charlotte started vomiting and refused to breastfeed, Danielle knew something was wrong and took Charlotte straight to the Hospital.
When Danielle arrived at Mona Vale Hospital, Charlotte was looking progressively worse. After doctors took multiple blood tests, the results didn't look great. Paediatrician said “I think it’s leukaemia”. Danielle and Charlotte were immediately transferred to Sydney Children's Hospital in an ambulance at 2am in the morning.
I told the doctors; “you have to be wrong; I’ve done everything right with Charlotte." I didn't want to accept my daughter had cancer.
A bone marrow transplant, lumbar puncture & chest x-rays followed straight away. Danielle didn't know what was happening. Doctors were taking her through different chemotherapy options and got overwhelmed.
I told the doctors “no, I’m taking her home”. They said “if you take her home, she’s going to die”
From that moment, Danielle and Charlotte didn't leave the hospital for seven weeks straight.
Charlotte received a bone marrow biopsy and lumber puncture to confirm diagnosis and identify the type of leukaemia she had which were then repeated weekly to monitor the leukaemia cells still present in her system. She then had 6 rounds of chemo, multiple injections of spinal chemo directly into her spinal column, multiple blood and platelet transfusions and a stem cell transplant.
I couldn’t communicate; it was up to Charlotte’s father & my dad to contact the rest of the family with news on how Charlotte was going.
Charlotte had to stay in isolation, couldn’t have visitors, she vomited constantly, lost so much weight, had to be tube-fed and hair fell out. It was horrible for Danielle to see her little girl go through that.
At one point Charlotte was so hungry as she had to fast; she was screaming but I couldn’t feed her.
Charlotte had to keep going back to oncology to check bloods and play the waiting game. Fortunately, two weeks after her transplant, Charlotte didn’t need any more blood transfusions. This was a sign that things were improving. Charlotte’s treatment lasted for several years and in February 2010, Charlotte was declared in remission. Charlotte’s parents know that their child’s survival was thanks to the many years of research that have come before her and that is why they are so passionate about supporting our research.