Child dies of cancer after doctors diagnose stomach pains as constipation. Picture: Aoife's Bubbles/Supplied
Child dies of cancer after doctors diagnose stomach pains as constipation. Picture: Aoife's Bubbles/Supplied

Girl’s cancer written off as constipation

A mother who claims doctors wrote off her 3-year-old daughter's stomach pains as constipation says the young girl died just days after she was diagnosed with a rare cancer.

In June, Aoife Flanagan, of Rayleigh in the united Kingdom, began to complain of tummy discomfort as well as pain in other areas of her body, her mum Eilish Flanagan, said.

Concerned, Flanagan took her daughter to the doctor multiple times - but claims she was told each time that Aoife's condition was caused by constipation.

"I took her to see the GP or a consultant doctor 11 times in three weeks. She'd been in and out of the hospital with different infections and problems but they kept telling us she had common child constipation," she told Fox News.

Aoife’s stomach pains were passed off as constipation by doctors. Picture: Aoife's Bubbles/Supplied
Aoife’s stomach pains were passed off as constipation by doctors. Picture: Aoife's Bubbles/Supplied

"As a mother, I knew there was something else wrong. I raised my concerns and she had pains in other areas of her body but the doctors never examined her," she told the outlet, claiming Aoife had a visible tumour on her bottom that doctors "failed to investigate."

Flanagan alleges doctors also questioned if she was properly feeding her daughter and if she got enough exercise. The young girl loved horseback riding, and rode every day, sometimes twice a day, she claims.

While waiting to be transferred to a different hospital, an X-ray revealed Aoife had a large tumour in her liver that was blocking her bowel, her mother told Essex Live.

Doctors at the hospital Aoife was transferred to diagnosed the young girl with germ cell cancer, which typically forms in a person's reproductive cells.

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She died three days after her cancer diagnosis. Picture: Aoife's Bubbles/Supplied
She died three days after her cancer diagnosis. Picture: Aoife's Bubbles/Supplied

However, germ cell tumours can also form in the abdomen, brain and chest - though this is rare, per the Mayo Clinic.

This type of cancer is highly treatable, even in the later stages. But it was too late for Aoife, her mother said.

On July 7, just days after her diagnosis, the 3-year-old died in her mother's arms. Aoife suffered from a "huge" heart attack, her mother said.

"I held her because I knew something was wrong with her. She died in my arms," she said.

"It was just too late. They didn't give us a fair chance," she said.

"She was scared because she had lost quite a lot of weight but she still had the courage in her and she was fighting with every ounce of her body, she was so brave."

Some of Aoife's organs, tumours and tissues were donated for research purposes, her mother said.

"It couldn't be in vain," she noted.

 

Aoife’s mum has started a charity in memory of her daughter. Picture: Aoife's Bubbles/Supplied
Aoife’s mum has started a charity in memory of her daughter. Picture: Aoife's Bubbles/Supplied

"She was very much a wild child," Flanagan said of her daughter, who enjoyed her pony, Bubbles, and "absolutely adored Queen Elsa from 'Frozen.'"

"She was so happy, bubbly and bouncy. And the best word to describe her is kind," she added.

Flanagan is now in the process of finalising a charity called "Aoife's Bubbles."

"We are awaiting our charity registration, but we will be the U.K.'s only registered childhood Germ Cell cancer charity. We want to raise as much awareness and educate as many people as possible about the symptoms, diagnosis, and effect of this rare disease," the mother says on the charity's website.

Eilish Flanagan did not immediately return Fox News' request for additional comment.

This article originally appeared on Fox News and is republished with permission


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