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Oana Chirila

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

  • Oana

Oana lives in Belfast with her husband, Alex and her daughter Emma. After suffering with severe antenatal and postnatal depression with her first pregnancy, Oana had been longing for another child to complete their family unit and was excited by the arrival of their new baby Georgie. In 2014, Oana’s baby son, Georgie, passed away from a very rare and aggressive form of acute myeloid leukaemia, the M7 strand that is usually diagnosed in men over 65 and children with Down’s syndrome.

It was just after Easter in 2014 when Oana noticed that Georgie, then three months old, started to show strange symptoms. Oana started to notice he started heavily sweating at night. His pillow was soaked but his body was ice cold and needed two blankets to sleep with.

Oana first noticed something wasn’t quite right with her baby, just weeks after the birth but did not recognise the signs as leukaemia, as she thought it was very rare in a child at that age.

Oana was unable to interpret the symptoms Georgie was experiencing as a blood cancer, but knew something wasn’t right. Georgie was continuously restless and after Oana cut his nails and pinched a bit of his skin, he would not stop bleeding. Knowing something was wrong, Oana and doctors were unable to interpret the symptoms as blood cancer.

With Georgie’s symptoms worsening, including low-grade fevers and having diarrhoea, blood tests were finally carried out. Georgie was diagnosed with a blood cancer in April 2014.

Georgie started a course of chemotherapy but unfortunately, the treatment wasn’t successful and Georgie sadly passed away two and a half months later.

Oana is now wholly supportive of any activity that helps to raise awareness of blood cancers after finding out another baby boy had been diagnosed with the same form in Belfast. Oana hopes that in the future, symptoms will be recognised much quicker by other parents and other people experiencing them, to push them to persist and go to their GPs so diagnoses can be given much sooner.