Charlotte Shaughnessy said her “mother’s instinct kicked in” when she noticed bruising and spots appearing on her 10-month-old baby, Isla. Her concern paid off with baby Isla now facing years of treatment for a life-threatening disease but, thankfully, a positive outlook.
Charlotte and her partner, Rich Jenkins, who live together in Swansea, first noticed unusual signs in the summer.
Not only were marks appearing on Isla’s body – she also wasn’t acting like her normal self.
The mother told WalesOnline: “She was very clingy, irritable, fatigued, off her food and milk.”
At first, she put this down to teething.
But her “mother’s instinct kicked in” when the bruising got worse.
She said: “I just knew something was wrong with our little girl.”
After calling 111, Charlotte was advised to take her daughter straight to the hospital.
There, after a few hours of nervous waiting, the parents were informed that Isla was being tested for leukaemia.
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“I can just remember screaming and collapsing to the floor. How could this be happening to our 10-month-old baby girl? She had never been ill before.”
The doctors had to break the news to Rich over the phone, with Charlotte unable to “get the words out”.
But while Isla has required intensive treatment, doctors said her condition was not terminal.
The months following the diagnosis, which came the morning after doctors confirmed they were testing for the condition, have seen Isla go through chemotherapy, surgery, scans and more.
The baby’s first birthday was spent in hospital after she picked up a blood infection.
WalesOnline reports that six weeks of the last six months of her life have been spent in hospital.
But Charlotte insists that her daughter has braved every new development like a trooper.
She said: “Despite everything that gets thrown at Isla and what her little body is going through she is always the happiest little girl with the biggest smile on her face.”
Charlotte has been told that Isla faces another two and a half years of treatment, but added that this “won’t always be intense like this”.