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Mum of four ‘devastated’ as Devin, 2, diagnosed with cancer during lockdown

PUBLISHED: 19:05 27 May 2020

Councillor Louise Fowler pictured here with her 2-year-old son Devin is urging the public to seek medical advice if they are worried about any unusual symptoms. Picture: LOUISE FOWLER

Councillor Louise Fowler pictured here with her 2-year-old son Devin is urging the public to seek medical advice if they are worried about any unusual symptoms. Picture: LOUISE FOWLER

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A mother of four is urging people to seek medical advice if they have any health concerns after her toddler son was diagnosed with cancer during the coronavirus lockdown.

Louise Fowler is a councillor for Sudbury Town Council and was “devastated” to discover that her 2-year-old son was suffering with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of soft tissue cancer. Picture: TERRY PETERSLouise Fowler is a councillor for Sudbury Town Council and was “devastated” to discover that her 2-year-old son was suffering with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of soft tissue cancer. Picture: TERRY PETERS

Louise Fowler, who is a councillor for Sudbury Town Council, said she was “devastated” to discover that her two-year-old son, Devin, was suffering with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of soft tissue cancer.

Cllr Fowler first noticed that her youngest child, was showing unusual symptoms two weeks prior to his diagnosis but had delayed phoning her doctor’s surgery due to the Covid-19 lockdown situation.

After being checked over by a GP, Devin was urgently referred to West Suffolk Hospital and then on to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge the next day where he was diagnosed.

More: Cancer referral rates fall during lockdown

Devin has had two operations so far with chemotherapy starting next week but his Mum, Cllr Fowler said: “The overall prognosis is good so far but we are still awaiting some results.” Picture: LOUISE FOWLERDevin has had two operations so far with chemotherapy starting next week but his Mum, Cllr Fowler said: “The overall prognosis is good so far but we are still awaiting some results.” Picture: LOUISE FOWLER

Cllr Fowler is incredibly grateful for the quick-thinking actions of all NHS staff and praised the response shown by the health workers involved in Devin’s treatment.

She said: “I’ve been so impressed with how the NHS staff and hospitals have responded throughout and put all necessary safety precautions in place.

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“It has been extremely stressful but they have been amazing.

Devin was very quickly diagnosed and treated by staff at his local doctor's surgery, West Suffolk Hospital and Addenbrookes Hospital. Picture: TERRY PETERSDevin was very quickly diagnosed and treated by staff at his local doctor's surgery, West Suffolk Hospital and Addenbrookes Hospital. Picture: TERRY PETERS

“So far my son has had two operations at Addenbrookes and he is due to start chemotherapy next week.

“The overall prognosis is good so far but we are still awaiting some results.”

Following reports of cancer referral rates dropping drastically to 50% of the normal rate due to the coronavirus restrictions in place, Cllr Fowler wants to encourage people to get medical advice if they are worried or unsure.

She said: “It has been devastating for my family of course but I want to now use this in a positive way, to encourage others and hopefully prevent any unnecessary deaths.

Devin has been banging his tambourine for the Clap for Carers on a Thursday night to show his appreciation for the NHS. Picture: LOUISE FOWLERDevin has been banging his tambourine for the Clap for Carers on a Thursday night to show his appreciation for the NHS. Picture: LOUISE FOWLER

“We are making sure we stay positive but are so thankful we made that call and really want others to do the same.

“I feel putting a personal element on the statistics side of things may encourage people to seek help.

“I think it would also help me to see a positive in all of this, if we can give encouragement and hope to others.”


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