When Doctors diagnosed 4 month old baby with Reflux, this Mother’s intuition proves them horribly wrong

When Doctors diagnosed 4 month old baby with Reflux, this Mother’s intuition proves them horribly wrong


Not always can you depend on a doctor to diagnose a rare cancerous disease. Several doctors’ mistake cancer for common problems which is what happened in the case of a single mother from Adamstown heights NSW, whose baby Penelope was diagnosed with reflux by doctors when she actually had cancer. This mother’s intuition diagnosed cancer in her four month old baby.

The baby had developed a rare form of cancerous tumor while still in the womb and was born with a bruised lump on her back.

1 Doctors diagnose reflux, but mum thinks otherwise

Baby Penelope was born with a lump on her back that gradually grew bigger as she aged. Although doctors repeatedly attributed the condition to colic, reflux or constipation, Emily felt otherwise. Her motherly instincts told her that something else was wrong. Her worst fears were confirmed when baby Penelope was ultimately diagnosed with one of the rarest of cancers called Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), a cancerous tumor that attacks soft tissue.

Said Emily, ‘I remember constantly feeling that something wasn’t quite right, so I decided to have it checked out. ‘But everywhere I went, nobody would listen to me and I kept getting told that she has reflux, colic, constipation.’, It was only when Emily spoke to a local nurse that she found out about her baby’s rare condition. The Nurse had advised her to go to a hospital where the diagnosis was made.

Doctors diagnose reflux

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2 What is RMS?

RMS is a cancerous condition whose survival rates depend on the progress and size of the tumor. The disease affects the muscles and attacks children between one and five years old. It is commonly found around the neck, head, the back of the throat, the cheek, inside the ear and skull and the muscles surrounding the eye. Chemotherapy can shrink the tumor but at the onset it cannot be removed by surgery. In certain conditions both radio therapy and surgery are required. The information was provided b y the Royal Children’s hospital in Melbourne.

In Penelope’s case, doctors decided against surgery as she was only four months old. Specialists attending to her felt chemotherapy would be the best course of action to shrink the tumor.

What is RMS

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3 Emily is determined to get her baby through the ordeal

Emily’s friend Heidi Gooley has now set up a GoFundMe page to collect funds for little Penelope’s treatment. The page has so far generated $4,500 so far. This mothers intuition diagnosed cancer which saved her baby from a far worse fate had it been allowed to progress. Emily’s expenses are going to be a considerable amount where in addition to hospital treatment, the equipment alone costs $650 a month.

‘I am determined to give my baby girl the best chance at life as I want her to develop and have the same experiences as other infants her age”. It’s a big task for Emily a single mum, but perseverance and hope will ultimately get both this mother and baby through their ordeal. Perhaps you can help too.

Emily is determined to get her baby through the ordeal

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About the author / 

Andrew Alpin