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Wednesday, Jul 28, 2021

Schoolboy, 12, diagnosed with leukaemia after taking coronavirus test

Cody Lockey, from Darlington, was taken to hospital with a temperature and cold-like symptoms.
The family of a schoolboy have been left ‘devastated’ after he was taken to hospital for a coronavirus test, only to find out that he had cancer.

Cody Lockey, 12, from Darlington, County Durham, began feeling unwell with a high temperature and cold-like symptoms last week. His mum, Lisa Marie Harry, feared he had contracted the virus and took him to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.

But on Tuesday, doctors discovered he actually had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and would die within weeks without urgent treatment. The schoolboy, who tested negative for coronavirus, had complained of pain in his groin and hips.

His illness affects the bone marrow and has symptoms similar to Covid-19 including tiredness, bone pain and fever. He started chemotherapy on Friday and will remain in hospital until he responds to the treatment.

Cody’s aunt Nicola Ann Cook said: ‘His mum is trying to be strong but is still in limbo. Both mum and dad are devastated.

‘Cody has two siblings Cee-Jay aged 10 who doesn’t really understand what’s happening and Mia aged 13 who is totally devastated. Cody is usually a cheeky, happy, young boy.’

Cody’s mum Lisa is now encouraging people to get medical concerns looked at, even if they are worried about going to hospital during the pandemic.

She said: ‘I keep thinking back to that day and the nurses keep saying that I should pat myself on the back for responding so quickly – I had a gut feeling.

‘I would just say to anyone, go and get checked out. Follow your instinct. My gut was telling me something else was wrong. Do not hesitate.’

The diagnosis comes just two years since aunt Nicola’s own daughter died from bowel cancer aged 32.

Nicola added: ‘He is very scared but he’s being strong… he was frightened he was going to die.

‘Cody is only 12 years old. He’ll be in the hospital until the chemotherapy starts working. Then no one is allowed in or out of the house for five weeks as he’s susceptible to infections.

‘Family members are all supporting the family as best we can via messages as we cannot visit because Cody and other children on the ward are extremely ill. Only parents can be there.’

His family including, Cody’s dad Richard, who rushed to his bedside from Norfolk, have been left devastated by the shock diagnosis.

They have all offered to donate bone marrow if they are a match and it is needed. A Go Fund Me page has been set up by Nicola to raise money for a trip for Cody who will be receiving chemotherapy for three years.

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