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The 12-year-old boy who is taken to hospital with Covid-19 symptoms is diagnosed with leukemia

A 12-year-old boy’s family was left devastated after being tested for coronavirus, but was found to have cancer.

Darlington, County Durham’s Cody Lockey was taken to hospital on Monday, July 27, when his mother Lisa Marie Harry suspected he had contracted Covid-19 after developing high temperature and cold symptoms.

The schoolboy also complained of pain in his groin and hips for three days, so his worried mother took him to be tested for the virus.

Although he tested negative for Covid-19, the family was stunned to discover that Cody actually had acute lymphoblastic leukemia – an aggressive cancer that targets white blood cells.

Darlington, County Durham's Cody Lockey's family left devastated after being tested for coronavirus but found to have cancer

Cody in hospital after admission on Monday, July 27

Cody in hospital after admission on Monday, July 27

Darlington, County Durham’s Cody Lockey’s family was left devastated after being tested for coronavirus, but was found to have cancer. Pictured right: Cody in the hospital after admission on Monday, July 27

It has symptoms similar to coronavirus, including fatigue, bone pain, and fever.

The diagnosis was officially confirmed last Tuesday, a day after Cody went to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

Lisa, who has two other children, said, “Cody was in pain for three days, and when he got a fever, I thought it might be Covid-19.

“We took him to the hospital and the doctors said they didn’t like the look of his skin because he was pale.

“It’s just awful. We got a coronavirus test because I thought it was at first because he had a fever and cough, but doctors said it was cancer.

Cody was taken to the hospital when his mother Lisa Marie Harry suspected he had contracted Covid-19 after developing high temperature and cold symptoms. Pictured: Cody (second from right) with his mother Lisa Harry, 31, brother Ceejay, 10, sister Mia, 13, and stepfather Errol Harry, 37

Cody was taken to the hospital when his mother Lisa Marie Harry suspected he had contracted Covid-19 after developing high temperature and cold symptoms. Pictured: Cody (second from right) with his mother Lisa Harry, 31, brother Ceejay, 10, sister Mia, 13, and stepfather Errol Harry, 37

Cody was taken to the hospital when his mother Lisa Marie Harry suspected he had contracted Covid-19 after developing high temperature and cold symptoms. Pictured: Cody (second from right) with his mother Lisa Harry, 31, brother Ceejay, 10, sister Mia, 13, and stepfather Errol Harry, 37

“They said there were too many white blood cells. Cody’s bone marrow is packed with cancer cells that stop good cells from getting through. ‘

Cody’s family was then told that he needed urgent chemotherapy or he could die in a few weeks.

Fortunately, cancer cells were not found in Cody’s spinal fluid, but he still needed a blood transfusion and had to start chemotherapy on Friday.

Leukemia is cancer of the bone marrow of the body, where blood cells are produced.

There are approximately 790 new cases of acute lymphoblastic leukemia each year in the UK and 5,930 in the US.

Cody's family was told he needed urgent chemotherapy, which started on Friday

Cody's family was told he needed urgent chemotherapy, which started on Friday

Cody has been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia – an aggressive cancer that targets white blood cells. Cody’s family was told he needed urgent chemotherapy, which started on Friday

Lisa, who says she hasn’t had time to process the diagnosis, said, “I haven’t had time to think about it. In a way that is good, I think we got it pretty quickly.

“I keep thinking about that day and the nurses keep telling me to pat myself on the back because I react so quickly – I had a gut feeling.

Lisa added, “I’d say to everyone, have a look. Follow your instinct. Do not hesitate.’

Cody’s aunt, Nicola Ann Cook, said the little boy was afraid he would die because her daughter, his cousin, died of cancer two years ago at the age of 32.

She said, “Cody’s chemotherapy started on Friday, because without it, they’ve said he’s only got weeks to live. He is very scared, but he is strong.

Cody has been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia - an aggressive cancer that targets white blood cells

Cody has been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia - an aggressive cancer that targets white blood cells

Cody’s aunt, Nicola Ann Cook, said the little boy was afraid he would die because her daughter, his cousin, died of cancer two years ago at the age of 32

“His cousin, my daughter, died of colon cancer two years ago at the age of 32, so he was afraid he would die.

“Cody is only 12 years old. He stays in the hospital until chemotherapy starts working. Then no one can go in or out of the house for five weeks because they are susceptible to infection.

“Family members all support the family as best we can through messages because we can’t visit because Cody and other kids in the ward are extremely ill. Only parents can be there. ‘

His family, including Cody’s father Richard Lockey, who rushed to bed from Norfolk, has been devastated by the shock diagnosis.

The ‘cheeky but loving’ brothers and sisters are Ceejay, 10 years old, who is not old enough to fully understand Cody’s diagnosis, and 13-year-old Mia, who is ‘very upset’.

The family have all offered to donate bone marrow if they fit together and if necessary.

Nicola has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for a trip for Cody, who will receive three years of chemotherapy. You can donate to the page by clicking here.

WHAT IS ACUTE LYMPHOBLASTIC LEUKEMIA?

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a type of blood cancer that starts in young white blood cells in the bone marrow.

There are about 810 new cases in the UK every year. In the U.S., ALL affects about 1.7 adults per 100,000.

Everyone can develop EVERYTHING, but it mainly affects young people.

Many ALL symptoms are vague and flu-like, such as:

  • Bruising or bleeding easily, including nosebleeds, heavy periods and blood in the urine or stool

Risks for developing ALL include radiation exposure, smoking, being overweight, and a weak immune system.

Research indicates that breastfeeding and being exposed to infections in children can reduce a person’s risk.

The main ALL treatment is chemotherapy. Patients may also undergo radiotherapy, steroids, or bone marrow transplants.

Source: Cancer Research UK

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