A mother from Sydney, Australia, Jill Ferrari, was left heartbroken and in utter shock after she was told by a doctor the frightening reason behind her 11-week-old baby’s condition whom she had taken to the hospital just for snoring.
The mother revealed that though her son, Huey, was “perfectly fine” when he was born, he became increasingly unsettled just after a couple of weeks, he started snoring at night, but she didn’t think much of it.
She only realized something must be wrong as he continued to become more restless and decided she need to see a doctor.
She said: “I went and saw numerous different doctors, went to a community health nurse, and they all said it was just normal newborn behavior and unsettledness.” Some even suggested it was “probably reflux” that was troubling the child.
She relaxed a little bit until he started breathing heavily and snoring regularly.
“He was snoring quite a lot and breathing through his mouth a lot as well, which is quite unusual for newborns,” she said.
He would often wake up from naps during the day making “high-pitched squeals very suddenly at very random times, she added.
She also noticed that he wasn’t gaining weight on top of his breathing problems, these behaviors led the mum to believe that “something wasn’t right” with her young son and decided to see a pediatrician.
She got scared when she saw the doctor “getting a little bit flustered” as they lay the 11-week-old down to take a look at him.
After measuring her baby’s abdomen and neck, Jill’s world was turned upside down by the medic’s prognosis.
Jill recalled how they heartbreakingly told her: “I’m really sorry, but I think your baby’s got cancer.”
“We were flabbergasted,” she said. “We just thought he had severe reflux and we needed some better medication or something.
“There was no indication, really, that it was this severe.”
The family was quickly transferred to Sydney Children’s Hospital, while Jill was left in a state of “complete shock” at the reason behind her son’s snoring.
The mum explained: “It is a little bit of a blur. A lot of things happened quickly [when we arrived at the hospital], and that’s when you know that things are serious.
“When the hospital moves exceptionally fast, that means they’re worried,” she said.
A biopsy then confirmed the devastating diagnosis, as little Huey was found to be suffering from stage four neuroblastoma.
The tot’s parents were tragically told that he had an “inoperable” tumor measuring 5cm on his neck, as well as cancer in his liver – causing the organ to swell five times the size it was meant to be.
Huey’s only option was to undergo eight rounds of grueling chemotherapy over the next seven months.
After battling through the treatment, he sadly still had cancerous cells around his carotid artery and liver.
But miraculously, Huey’s health continued to get better as he recovered from chemo and the cancer cells depleted.
Jill says the disease seems to have now gone completely – and Huey is now four-and-a-half years old and thriving.
She touchingly described her son as “the light of my life”, but revealed he is still living with the effects of undergoing chemotherapy at such a young age.
He now has a speech delay, which has made the family determined to find more suitable treatment options for young children.
Jill and her loved ones are now working with the Children’s Cancer Institute in Australia to raise awareness and funds.
The mum is now raising money to help finance research into targeted treatments for neuroblastoma in children.
“It’s the best thing ever to try to help these future kids,” Jill said.