Emily's Story

Emily, 4, was normally a bright and energetic girl who loved running around the backyard with her twin sister Charlotte and little sister Lucy but in October 2012 her parents Brian and Renee, noticed she was really pale and lethargic, taking herself off to bed for hours in the day. Emily then started to get high fevers and was suffering from various viral infections.

After visits to her GP and Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick and under-going different tests, including a bone marrow biopsy, Emily was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, devastating her close-knit family.

“Looking back I can now see signs that Emily was sick. She was limping, saying she had a pain in her back and was complaining of headaches” Renee said.

Emily was immediately started on intensive chemotherapy treatment at the Hospital. She has now undergone four rounds of treatment and she is currently on her last round of treatment needing to be given in hospital. She has suffered from many side effects including vomiting, nausea, mouth ulcers and also had an anaphylaxis reaction to one of the chemotherapy drugs.

Emily caught an infection one week before Christmas and ended up staying in isolation in hospital for two weeks. The family had Christmas day in hospital and were able to make the most of the special day with help from their family and the hospital staff.

Despite suffering from side-effects of her treatment, while in hospital Emily loves keeping busy, including singing songs with the music therapist, roaming the corridors of the ward in the red car with her mum Renee chasing her behind her pushing her IV pole along and playing doctor.

“Life definitely gets turned upside down and if it wasn’t for all the great support that the hospital gives to their patients and family it would make this already challenging situation a lot harder on everyone.” Brian said.

“All of the staff at the Hospital are brilliant. We are so happy with the care she receives from the doctors and nurses, and all the support staff. They all do an amazing job,” her mum Renee said. 

Emily is looking forward to returning to preschool, dancing and swimming classes with her sisters at the end of her treatment.