Early last year, Austin suddenly lost his wild, joyful energy.
He was just starting school, so at first doctors thought anxiety might be causing his sudden tiredness.
But then one side of his face began to droop, and soon it was so swollen he could barely open his eye.
Very worried about her little boy, Austin’s mum, Sarah, took him to hospital.
What the doctors found turned their world upside down.
A CT scan showed Austin had a huge tumour in his throat and within hours, he was rushed to hospital for a series of tests and scans. It was revealed that Austin had Burkitt’s Lymphoma, a rare and extremely aggressive form of childhood cancer.
Austin’s family was given the devastating news that the disease had already spread through Austin’s central nervous system and into his liver and kidneys, and that his chance of survival could be as low as 70 percent.
Austin had to endure multiple lumbar punctures, general anesthetics and six months of intensive chemotherapy, resulting in countless hospital admissions.
The chemo made Austin so sick, he couldn’t eat or keep anything down. He needed a nasal gastric tube inserted in order to keep his nutrient levels up and to stop him from losing so much weight.
During his time in hospital, Austin enjoyed distraction therapy including bravery beads, bedside play and music therapy. Austin no longer has a nasogastric tube and his eating habits have been affected by his treatment. Good nutrition will continue to be a focus for Austin on his road to recovery.
Simply add a $2 wall token to your shopping at your local Woolworths store this month.
100% of proceeds raised through the Wall Token Appeal on the Sunshine Coast will help purchase distractive therapy resources, interactive play equipment and toys for sick children at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.