Alix Cassidy was just 17 when she died. Picture: Facebook
Alix Cassidy was just 17 when she died. Picture: Facebook

Teen’s ‘arthritis’ was actually a tumour

A Scottish teenager whose terminal spine cancer was reportedly misdiagnosed as arthritis has died aged 17.

According to The Sun, Caron Cassidy, 39, was horrified when doctorssaid her daughter Alix Cassidy had terminal cancer and there was nothing more they could do.

A GoFundMe page had been set up to pay for Alix's treatment, raising over £17,000 ($A31,000).

The money will now be used to pay for the teen's funeral, and the rest donated to charity.

An online statement on behalf of the family read: "We would love to thank everyone for their amazing donations and messages.

"Sadly our warrior passed away yesterday morning and is now at peace.

"We understand if anyone would like their donations back but the money raised will now be used to give our baby girl the send off she deserves and the rest of money will be donated to a charity.

"Thank you for all the support."

 

Alix Cassidy with her heartbroken mum, Caron. Picture: Facebook
Alix Cassidy with her heartbroken mum, Caron. Picture: Facebook

TRIBUTES POURING IN

Family and friends have paid tribute to the "beautiful" schoolgirl after she died las weekend.

Cousin Michaela Cassidy said: "Never in a million years would I think I would ever have to write this. You fought so hard and we are all so proud. Rest in peace Alix."

Yvonne McGinley wrote: "I never thought I'd ever be writing this but RIP Alix Cassidy. You will be missed so, so much. I cannot believe this but I hope I do you proud and you aren't in pain any more. Rest easy."

Mary Cummings posted: "Heartbreaking thinking of the family at this very sad time. Life can be so cruel. Fly high beautiful Alix. You touched the hearts of the nation. RIP - heaven has gained a beautiful Angel."

Jody McGillivray said: "Still can't quite believe it.

"Heartbreaking that such a beautiful young girl's life has been taken away from her so soon through doctors not doing their job properly. You were such a little fighter Alix. Rest in peace. Stay strong Michaela Cassidy. Love you lots."

FAILED BY DOCTORS

Alix's symptoms first began in October last year when she lost the use of her fingers.

But it took until the end of April for surgeons to finally confirm that she had a cancerous tumour.

At this stage, Caron, from Drumchapel, Glasgow, said the family have not been given a specific name for the disease ravaging the teenager's body.

The teenager was first told she could have arthritis in October, but after three months of being fobbed off with pain killers Caron decided to take her to a private doctor in January this year.

She explained: "Alix's fingers went numb. She couldn't even open her Christmas presents, I had to open them, she couldn't pet her dog.

"Within 10 minutes the private doctor did a flex test of her arm and her leg and said 'that is not arthritis - that is her spine, I'm going to admit her right away'."

HER BODY SHUT DOWN

Alix was taken to hospital, but within a few days she had lost the use of her left leg - and was rushed by ambulance to the neurological department at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow.

Caron added: "We got there at 5pm, she went for a scan at 6pm, and by 8pm I was being told it was a tumour.

"Within 48 hours of me taking her to a private doctor we were told it was a tumour on her spinal cord."

However, after a biopsy Caron claims the surgeons backtracked and said it wasn't a tumour - and was likely to be an inflammation disease instead.

After further tests, Alix was allowed to go home, but after three weeks her body began to shut down.

Caron explained: "Both legs went from under her. I phoned the ambulance and within 24 hours both her arms and legs were gone, she couldn't use either of them.

"Her muscles were shutting down. The doctor was still saying it's not a tumour. So neurology came back in, they blasted her through an IV with a really strong steroid for three days that had no effect.

"It's absolutely horrendous."

Alix was readmitted to hospital and after a biopsy on May 2, surgeons finally confirmed that it was a cancerous tumour on her spine.

Caron said: "I lost it a bit and my family had to step in and take me away until I calmed down.

"I had this oncologist come in, who we've never met before in my life, and say 'that's it, there's nothing more we can do. I can't offer you treatment. We can't offer you radiotherapy, the tumour has grown and we can't do anything for you but make you comfortable'.

"I have trusted this surgeon who told me and guaranteed me it was an inflammation disease. And he's spent 14 weeks battering my child's life about."

She believes that if doctors had done a simple reflex test they would have caught the tumour quicker.

She said: "There's no words for it. These are the people you put your faith and trust in and they're just, I have no words."

A spokesman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde previously said: "This is an incredibly complex case with a very difficult diagnostic process."

This story was originally published in The Sun and is reprinted with permission.


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