SUDDEN DIAGNOSIS: Ten-year-old Liam Forknall is currently undergoing chemotherapy at Lady Cilento Hospital in Brisbane.
SUDDEN DIAGNOSIS: Ten-year-old Liam Forknall is currently undergoing chemotherapy at Lady Cilento Hospital in Brisbane.

Sore feet led to cancer diagnosis for Toowoomba boy

WHEN Liam Forknall returned from school in late October complaining of sore feet, his mother Sally chalked it up to growing pains.

By the following week the Toowoomba youngster was in too much pain to play cricket, his favourite sport. That is when Ms Forknall said she knew it was "serious".

"It was a Monday morning when we took him in for the blood tests," she said.

"That night, during dinner, we received a call from the doctor saying we had to take him to the emergency department immediately.

"The following day he was in theatre at Lady Cilento hospital in Brisbane, receiving a bone marrow aspiration and a lumbar puncture - our lives changed forever in an evening."

Doctors diagnosed Liam with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and started him on chemotherapy.

"It terrified us when we first found out," Ms Forknall said.

"We were suddenly exposed to this other world we had never experienced.

"Since then my son has taught me lessons in resilience - he has taken it in his stride."

Ms Forknall urged others to follow their intuition regarding their children's health. She said Liam displayed other common symptoms, such as bruising and lethargy, before his diagnosis.

"As a parent, you are the best judge. You know what is normal for your child so keep an eye on it," she said.

"Your child could have leukaemia for weeks and months and not know because the symptoms are so common.

"We're very lucky we caught it early, sometimes secondary tumours can develop if it is left."

Liam will receive ongoing treatment in Brisbane for the next three years. Ms Forknall left her job at the Oakey State School to stay by his side.

The family of seven hope to spend Christmas Eve and Day with Liam in hospital, breaking up stretches of isolation enforced due to his depleted immune system.

A GoFundMe page set up by Ms Forknall's sister has received 66 donations in six days.

"It has brought the importance of family and community to the forefront of our minds," Ms Forknall said.

"Without the support from the surrounding community, I'm not sure how we would have managed."

She also commended staff at Lady Cilento for the treatment of her son.

Those looking to donate to Liam's cause can find the GoFundMe page under 'Liam's Fight Against Leukaemia'.
 



‘I’m busting’: Speeding driver’s eyebrow-raising excuse

premium_icon ‘I’m busting’: Speeding driver’s eyebrow-raising excuse

A woman who was caught travelling at more than 40km/h over the limit has been...

Members give their seal of approval to merger

Members give their seal of approval to merger

Members have voted strongly in favour of a merger

Sixteen of the 19 people killed on the roads were locals

premium_icon Sixteen of the 19 people killed on the roads were locals

"They are dying within sight of their homes."