Toddler taken to hospital with sore leg diagnosed with leukaemia an hour later

A two-year-old boy who was rushed to hospital with a suspected broken leg was diagnosed with leukaemia just an hour after arriving.

Little Carter Nightingale fell out of his bed during the night in August last year and was struggling to walk.

But after some tests in hospital his parents, Hannah Carter and Daniel Nightingale, 30, were delivered the heartbreaking news that Carter had leukaemia.

Hannah, 25, said: "He fell out of bed and we didn't think anything of it. He cried for 30 seconds and we gave him a cuddle and we all went back to sleep.

"The next day we went to Colchester Zoo and he was sat in his buggy which wasn't unusual and then we went to the play park but he didn't want to play in it. He usually loves running around.

"I just shrugged it off. When we got home he didn't want to be put down and when he was put down he couldn't walk at all. He was dragging his left leg.

"We were like: 'Oh my God, do you think he's broken his leg?'"

The family from Essex rushed Carter to A&E where they took blood for testing.

Hannah added: "I just kept thinking: 'All he needs is an x-ray', I was getting a little bit annoyed!"

Doctors then told them Carter had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL).

The mum said although this type of leukaemia starts off quite slowly, it can become quite aggressive.

Hannah said: "When we got to hospital they said if we hadn't of noticed and brought him in, they didn't think he would be here overnight. We would have had a dead child or a very very ill child, so I feel like someone was watching over us.

"I just thought: 'Thank God he fell out of bed.'"

Carter was immediately transferred to Addenbrookes Hospital for surgery, but hospital staff tried 25 times to get a cannula without success and he was rushed into theatre.

They were told it would initially take just two hours, but six and a half hours later, Hannah was still waiting for her son and was "pacing the ward like a crazy woman".

When he eventually came out, the parents were horrified when they saw intensive care nurses surrounding the bed.

Carter had fluid on his lungs, so hospital staff decided to make a central line incision in his neck but it started haemorrhaging.

Hannah said: "I had to hold him while he was haemorrhaging on my lap because he didn't want anyone to touch him.

"There was so much blood and I could see the panic on Carter's face."

He began his chemotherapy but his treatment was anything but smooth after developing sepsis seven times.

Although Carter no longer has leukaemia cells in his body, he will still need treatment until 2021 to prevent them from growing back.

Since his diagnosis nearly a year ago, Carter has been home around 20 times and can't be near other children due to his low immune system.

The diagnosis has hit the family hard and in particular the couple's two other children Trinity, seven, and Scarlett, four.

Hannah said: "Our eldest must have heard stuff at school because she asked me: 'Mummy is Carter going to die?'

"We didn't want to lie to her because we don't know what will happen in the future so we just said that Carter was really poorly and that we didn't know what would happen."

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