Our beautifully shy 11 year old son William came home from school one day and said "Mum my mouth feels funny! when I tried to drink my juice at lunchtime it kept spilling out the side of my mouth" I cupped his face in my hands but couldn't see anything wrong, then I asked him to smile! That's when I knew something ws terribly wrong, only one side of his face moved. I tried to keep a level head but deep down I genuinely thought he'd had a Stroke. Called his dad at work n told him 2 come home immediately! We took him strait to A&E where he had some physical tests and was diagnosed with a Bells Palsy! We had never even heard of this, docs assured us it was nothing to worry about just caused by a virus and happens to lots of young men but will go away within a few weeks. We took him home not worried. Within a few days he became really sick and lethargic with a pea sized lump on his neck, took him back to docs again who told us again "its just The Virus nothing to worry about" we kept him resting and gave him Calpol as advised. A school trip was coming up and William begged us to go, I said no i don't think so son your too ill, he pleaded with me "Mum Pleeeease I really want to go I'm ok"! I took him back to docs again for advice and his words were "he's fine if he feels up to going then let him go" So spoke to his teachers and explained the situation, advising them to take it easy with him. Away he went on the school trip on Monday morning. Tuesday night at 10pm I get a call, its Williams teacher "we've been out on a 5 mile hike and William has came back and collapsed!!!!! Can we come and pick him up as he's not fit to be there" I don't drive and his dad was at work so my Mum and her husband took the 200 mile round journey to bring him home. He was shattered when I saw him but obvs was very late at night, gave him some calpol and put him to bed, by this time he had a massive lump on his neck! Next morning I called docs Again! They told me to bring him down, doctor put him up on the bed and felt his tummy and said we need to take emergency blood tests, took sample, told us to go home and wait for a call. At 4pm that same day the phone rang! It was the receptionist at the surgery who said "the doctor needs to see you right away but if u need 2 bring William then please leave him in the waiting room!!! Obvs alarm bells start ringing! I was freaked out as thought he had Glandular fever which doctor had said was a possibility on a previous visit! If only! Called my best friend to take me down and sit with William in the waiting room. When I walked into that doctors room I knew something was Very wrong, she had tears in her eyes! I begged "what is wrong" she blurted out "Williams got Leukaemia" I screamed out loud uncontrollably "WHAT"!!!!!!! That's when our whole world changed, took him to Yorkhill for treatment and after a few weeks he went into remission and got home. He had to go into hospital every Tues for a lumber puncture that injected chemo meds right into his spine and brain and his bloodstream. He always woke up afterwards and had some juice n toast and we went home. However one Tuesday he didn't wake up, we got called into doctors office who told us "the Cancer is back with a Vengeance and he has a 5% chance of survival!!! We just couldn't believe it but I was absolutely convinced he'd be one of that 5%. After many treatments and drugs he just got worse and worse, eventually we were told to take him home as there was nothing more they could do. The type of Leukaemia he had was very rare and the treatment wasn't working. All he ever wanted during this whole time was to come home and go out and play football with his friends, you'd never find William without a ball at his feet! We had him home in a makeshift bedroom in our dining room for a week and a half. On that last day I just knew something wasn't right, I stood watching him breathing and he took a breath in! But no breath came out! I screamed for his dad while our other 2 kids were upstairs, we knew it was happening but still couldn't actually believe it! We sat with him when he took his last breath! Thee most horrifying moment of our lives! William truly was the quietest, sweetest, shyist wee boy you could ever know and all he ever wanted was to play football for his favourite team Glasgow Rangers ❤🤍💙⚽️⚽️⚽️

Michelle Burke