Mum’s four-year struggle over son’s diagnosis
PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 July 2015
A WOMAN who was told she was not feeding her son properly can finally rest easy after he has been diagnosed with a rare form of dwarfism following a four-year battle.
For Corrie Cahill, son Ryan, now aged four, was a ‘second chance’ to be a mum, after one of her twins was stillborn and the other died of cot death.
The 27-year-old, of Milton Brow, had her son Ryan in 2011, but despite giving birth at 38 weeks he weighed just 4lbs and 11oz.
Mrs Cahill said: “He stopped growing in the womb when I was 20-weeks pregnant, I was having weekly scans and he didn’t grow.”
She was told to consider aborting the pregnancy but refused after having already lost two children.
Mrs Cahill said: “My son died three years before Ryan was born. His twin was a stillborn and then my son lived until he was 14 weeks old before he died of cot death.
“Ryan was my second chance.”
Mrs Cahill had to buy dolls’ clothes to dress Ryan, because even premature baby clothes would not fit. But other than being smaller than other babies he was healthy until he was admitted to hospital with a stomach bug at four months old.
Mrs Cahill said: “He was in hospital for more than a week and kept losing weight and wasn’t eating properly.
“I said to everybody, there has got to be some sort of dwarfism in him, but I got accused of dramatising what was wrong.”
Four and a half years later Mrs Cahill has finally had a diagnosis from a geneticist in Bristol who said her son has Bloom syndrome.
The diagnosis means Ryan will be smaller than most people for his entire life and will be more susceptible to cancer than other children.
Mrs Cahill said: “Ryan is all in proportion, apart from he has a tiny head. He has also got an extremely high-pitched voice, which is part of it.
“People with Bloom syndrome are prone to leukaemia; some reach adulthood but some don’t.
“The oldest Bloom syndrome person died at the age of 27.
“I haven’t stopped crying since. It’s hard because I’ve already lost my twins; he was all that kept me alive.
“I know one day I will be without him, but that is something that I have got to try to prepare myself for.”
Ryan was put on the Children In Need register due to his condition, which means social services have to make regular visits to the family’s home.
Mrs Cahill also has two daughters, Lacey, aged one, and Lisa-Marie, aged two, who do not receive any support from social services and she thinks it is ‘unfair’ for Ryan to stay on the register.
Mrs Cahill said: “Now, even though he’s had the diagnosis, they say they have to wait for six months before he can come off the register.
“It just doesn’t seem fair.”
A spokesman from North Somerset Council said the authority does not comment on individual cases, but told the Mercury: “We work with many families who have children with needs – it doesn’t automatically mean there are parenting concerns.
“We work with them until they get to a point where they no longer need input from social services.”