Three-year-old Liam from Ballina was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) on Mother’s Day 2021 at Queensland Children’s Hospital. His family was advised they’d be staying in Brisbane for treatment for more than six months, despite having only packed enough clothes and belongings to last them one week.
Just after his diagnosis, it took four Emergency Department nurses to get his canular in due to Liam’s anxiety, with his mum, Hiep, remembering just how terrified he was.
“It was heartbreaking as he was staring straight at me and I could tell he was thinking ‘why are you letting them do this to me?’. He was terrified. He thought everybody who came close to him was there to attack him. It was horrible,”
After six rounds of chemotherapy and seven months away from home, Liam finally finished his leukaemia treatment in November 2021. He rang the chemotherapy bell to signify the end of his treatment in December. Liam will return to hospital for regular check-ups and tests during 2022.
The new state-of-the-art digital PET-CT scanner will provide easier and faster scans for paediatric oncology patients undergoing treatment at Queensland Children’s Hospital, just like Liam. Previously, sick children needing a PET-CT scan were transported from the Queensland Children’s Hospital to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital by ambulance. Sometimes a child may have been too unwell to travel, or clinicians could not wait for the PET scan to begin urgent treatments such as chemotherapy, meaning their care, while still safe and appropriate, had to proceed without the enhanced information and insight that a PET-CT scan can offer.
Thanks to a generous Gift in Will, the Foundation were able to partner with the Queensland Government to fund this $5 million piece of equipment. This significant investment in children’s health ensures the right care can be delivered in the right place at the right time for children and young people, in an Australian first.
During his treatment at Queensland Children’s Hospital, Liam and his family relied heavily on Children’s Hospital Foundation support services, and he became well known for his gorgeous smile and cheeky nature when he played in Kidzone with Foundation volunteers.