Mom Gets Wrong Diagnosis And It Nearly Kills Her

We have all had those moments where we see a mole and think skin cancer or get a cough and think the bird flu is on the way. 

Heading to the doctor we try to stay open-minded but fear what the prognosis may be.

A fearful mother has one of these moments and can’t believe what she is told by trusted medical professionals!

Leanne Cockayne, 40, began noticing symptoms after her first child, Darcy, was born, including arthritis lesions on her hands and a pulmonary embolism. 

Having to deal with Crohn’s disease in the past, Cockayne thought that her symptoms were associated with the debilitating illness. 

But after weeks on an extreme Crohn’s medication, akin to chemo drugs, administered by Doctors at Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital [RD&E] she found no solace from the pain. 

The next step was to biopsy the lumps on Cockayne’s hands to see if there were any indicators that the doctors were dealing with something more serious. 

At the follow-up appointment, Cockayne and her husband sat down anxiously to hear what was discovered.

But nothing could have prepared them for the news they were given.

Biopsy results showed abnormal cells in her skin- it was Myeloid Leukaemia cutis.

Yahoo News reports on Cockayne’s thoughts in that shocking moment:

“All I could say was, ‘are you joking?’ – I didn’t understand how it could have gone from a Crohn’s flare up to leukaemia.”

The diagnosis had a lot of implications. She would have to tell her children that she had a life-threatening disease, begin an intense attack against the invading cells, and all while trying to maintain her role as a wife and mother.

Processing such dire news is a near-impossible task alone but trying to help children who can’t possibly fully understand that their mother may die is unbearable.

It was devastating, especially as my daughter, who was two at the time, probably wouldn’t remember me if I died,” Cockayne lamented. 

Chemotherapy started immediately because she was told that was the best chance of survival- and Cockayne had to do what she could to stay with her family!

Yahoo News reports on the urgency of the situation:

“My bone marrow was clear but they said the max time to hit the marrow was 12 months so they had to act very quickly – I had a 50/50 chance if I did intensive chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.”

The lesions on the mother’s hands were not responding to the first round of chemotherapy, so a second more intense round was ordered.

And why wouldn’t she comply? The consultant examining her biopsies said he was “100 percent sure” of what he saw, reports Yahoo News.

Despite the aggressive medications the cancer appeared to be getting worse. This led to an appointment with different doctors in Bristol for a pre-op consultation.

In order for the consultation to go smoothly, the hospital ordered the original biopsy sample from RD&E hospital for review.

These medical experts saw an entirely different result from the first consultant who was “100% sure” of the diagnosis.

Yahoo News reports on the suffering Cockayne had to endure to get to where she is now:

“After two rounds of chemotherapy, numerous bone marrow biopsies, two stints in isolation and in intensive care due to kidney failure, Mrs Cockayne got some very different news from a doctor at Bristol.”

She, in fact, did not have cancer!

How could this be? How could various medical professionals see the same samples and come up with two very different diagnoses?

What Cockayne was suffering from was Sweet’s syndrome, a harmless skin condition.

There is an external investigation going on into the hospital, and the administration at RD&E have been “supportive”, but that does not give you back those moments you had to break your child’s heart, or the stares you received when losing all your hair. 

Putting all those trials in the shadows, for now, the true light is that Cockayne is going to live and be able to watch her children grow up. 

Please let us know in the comments section how you would feel if you were to receive a wrong diagnosis like Cockayne, and what you think the hospital should do to rectify the mistake.