A mother told today how her 13-year-old son was hours away from being paralysed for life after bungling doctors misdiagnosed his cancer – as GROWING PAINS.
Milan Patel was in agony as the tennis-ball sized tumour grew on his back but medics dismissed his concerns as aches and pains associated with puberty.
But two weeks later when the pain got worse, his parents took him to a physiotherapist who was concerned and suggested they take him to hospital.
When he struggled to walk later that day his parents took him to Warwick Hospital, where an MRI scan showed there was a lump measuring 66mm by 66mm on his back.
He was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer which affects about 35 children in the UK each year.
He was rushed by ambulance to Birmingham Children’s Hospital on January 17 last year where he underwent a three-hour operation to have the tumour removed.
Yesterday mum Gita, 40, from Kenilworth, Warks., blasted medics, saying her son could have died or been paralysed for life as a result of the misdiagnosis.
She said: “Milan has always been quite a sporty lad so we assumed it was just aches and pains we had no idea it would be cancer.
“The pain would come and go. Then it got even worse and he couldn’t sleep at night.
“One of the doctors thought it was growing pains and another said he might have kidney problems.
“When we found out it was cancer it was utter devastation.
“I just kept thinking how could we have left it so long and how could the doctors not know what it was? We started blaming everyone else.
“The GPs did miss the cancer but we were told that it is very rare.
“I now want to raise awareness into the condition and urge doctors to routinely check for cancer, no matter how rare.”
Surgeons removed 99 per cent of the malignant tumour but warned the family there was still a chance the cancer could return.
Milan spent the whole year having gruelling radiotherapy and chemotherapy with at least four days each week in hospital.
Gita, who has another son Kiran, 14, added: “Surgeons told us if they didn’t operate that night Milan would lose his legs as he couldn’t walk at all.
“He was literally hours from being paralysed or worse.
“Everything happened so quickly. Even when most of his tumour was removed I wasn’t relieved. There is always the chance it will come back.
“Sometimes we would come back from hospital where he has been quite poorly but would still go to school the next day. He is a very determined young boy.”
Milan has now finished his chemotherapy but still has regular hospital check-ups.