A mother who lost her daughter to a mysterious illness is sharing a heart-wrenching message that she hopes people will take away from her post on Facebook.
Alyssa and her partner, Nick, say their daughter, Olivia, was diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in November 2016 and died three months later.
“When you’re young and you have a child you have no idea what’s going on, you’re just hoping things are going to work out,” Alyssas, 31, told the ABC.
“And then the worst happens and they just go through it and it’s really tough.”
Olivia’s death was not reported to authorities until she was two years old, and her mother, who had to spend weeks caring for her daughter, was left devastated.
The family had previously been diagnosed with another rare form.
Olivia was diagnosed at an early age, aged just five, with the rare form, which is a form of lymphoma, and died in December 2016.
“I am really devastated and really scared about what’s to come, but I am also so thankful that my mum took her time, she just waited, she waited for it to happen, because she knew that she was the most important person in her life,” Alexis, Olivia’s mum, said.
“So it’s just such a shock to me to think that she’s gone now, it’s a big loss.”
Nick, who was a student at the University of Queensland when Olivia died, said he believes Olivia’s illness was a side effect of her treatment.
“There’s no way that this could have happened, no way it’s possible that she could have survived,” he said.
Mr Nick said he would love to see more doctors and researchers examine the medical records of people with non-melanoma skin cancer who have died, but the risk of that happening is too great to ignore.
“They should just go in there and see what they can learn from it and what they do, because there’s no guarantee that the cancer will go away,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
“If they do do that, that’s a huge step forward for people, but it’s not a good step forward at all.”
The Queensland Government has since launched an inquiry into the case.
“We need to do all we can to find out what happened and get to the bottom of this and get the answers we need,” Minister for Health Andrew Stoner said.
Alexes mum, who lives in Melbourne, said the investigation would be a challenge.
“But I hope it can happen, and that the people involved will go on and do the right thing,” she said.
Olivia’s parents had no idea the illness had started until she turned four months old.
“It’s such a terrible thing to lose a child,” she told ABC News.
“You’re not dead, you’ve got the chance to go to the hospital and you don’t, it was the first time.”
Olivia had been on the National Children’s Health Register for three years when she died, and the Queensland Government said it would not have been possible to determine whether the illness was the result of treatment or not.
A spokeswoman said the inquiry would not consider whether there was a “clear cause of death” for the toddler, and added: “The cause of her death has not been established and is being referred to Queensland Health for further investigation.”
The ABC has contacted the Queensland Health Department for comment.
Olivia died in September 2017, but her mother was told in November that the child was still alive.
The Queensland Health Health Department has since said it was unable to say whether the case had been investigated properly or how long the child had been at risk.