No mother can prepare for the devastating news of their five-year-old being diagnosed with Leukaemia.
Three years ago, Mila Seeley was admitted to Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH). Within hours she had two cannulas inserted, one for bloods taken, and also one for blood and platelet transfusions.
The results were clearly cause for concern. Only 48 hours into her hospital admission, medical professionals discovered she had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia – the most common form of cancer in children.
“Processing the message from doctors, I struggled to come to terms this was happening to my beautiful baby girl,” Mila’s mum J’nae said.
Mila began her gruelling chemotherapy journey without her Dad’s support, who was away most of the time with FIFO work, which meant J’nae and Mila’s two brothers united to be by her side every step of the way.
“The first six months in particular during Mila’s intensive treatment was tough. Having your family ripped apart overnight and then not coming home for weeks took its toll not only on Mila but her two brothers as well,” she said.
“Watching your child change in appearance is hard. Not in a vain way, but an extremely delicate and protective way.
“Mila was so skinny and sick when diagnosed. She was so swollen she could barely walk due to some of the medication. Hair loss, weight loss, constant rashes and chronic pain followed.
“Knowing you are essentially poisoning your child to make them well is a massive mental game as a parent.”
Local hospital foundation Wishlist were able to introduce a number of its services to Mila throughout her 26 month treatment journey – to provide some priceless laughter and comfort during an exhausting and traumatic time.
“It may not sound like much but as a mother feeling completely helpless when your child is begging you to make medical staff stop, I cannot express in words how much the Clown Doctors helped distract and settle Mila on the hard days.”
“Mila also had some very special experiences with Norman the Therapy Dog and Stacey the Calm Fairy. Through their interactions with Mila, her anxiety reduced significantly.”
Mila’s last treatment was on November 30, 2020 and is now happily appreciating the pleasures of life of a typical Aussie 8-year-old.
“We sometimes run into the Clown Doctors and they remember Mila and make her feel like the only little person in that hospital.”
“We are just one of many families that are eternally thankful for Wishlist and the services they provide. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all that you do.”
Help families like the Seeleys going through a health crisis by Donating a Virtual Brick at wishlist.org.au. In doing so, you will be part of the legacy in Wishlist Centre.