The parents of a three-year-old girl found out a cute photograph of their toddler falling asleep in a swing turned out to be a symptom of a deadly disease.

Dad, Dave Fletcher, 39, thought he was capturing a tender moment when he took a picture of little Izzy nodding off at a playground when she was 23-months-old, shares yahoo 7.

But just a few weeks later Dave and wife Vicky, 37, were left devastated after their toddler’s tiredness turned out to be a sign that she had leukaemia.

The toddler has since undergone 570 doses of gruelling chemotherapy and is now receiving maintenance therapy in a bid to stop the cancer returning.

Dave said he thought nothing of it at first when he snapped Izzy nodding off in the swing at a park near their home in Claines, Worcester, England.


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He is now warning other parents to be vigilant and look out for the telltale signs of the disease.

It was just an afternoon pop out to the swings. She was swinging away – I turned around and she had dropped off,” Dave said.

“She was drowsy and fell asleep but I didn’t think much of it. I thought it was a cute moment and just took a picture of her as you do.

“It was only afterwards we realised it was all part of the symptoms and what I’d captured was her displaying signs of something more sinister.

“She had been tired, had had a few colds or viruses, and quite a bit of bruising on her legs. But we put all this down to normal childhood bumps and minor illness.

“You get a bit sentimental, looking at pictures of her before she was ill – you just realise how much she’s been through at such a young age.”

The couple first took Izzy to a GP in January last year after a strange rash appeared on her leg.

They were advised to come back several days later for blood tests if the rash had not gone, and to take her straight to hospital if it got worse.

However by the next morning, Izzy’s rash had spread and she then developed a temperature, so her parents took her to Worcester Royal Hospital.

She was diagnosed with leukaemia the same day and began a course of chemotherapy the following week.

“When she was diagnosed it came out of the blue. We were both in real shock as it happened so fast.

“It was a big unknown. A family member died of leukaemia five years ago, so it was a scary time.

“We didn’t know what was going to happen at that stage or what the future held.

“But we were lucky Izzy was diagnosed quickly and lucky she has coped very well with the treatment, suffering very few setbacks or unplanned hospital admissions.

“The type of leukaemia she has has a better chance of recovery than some others. She is young which helps those odds.”

Share your comments below


  • What a horrific experience to go through and be told your child has Leukaemia. I can’t even fathom it – it’s funny how as a parent our instincts can tell us something is wrong or not right. I hope and pray this little girl gets through this and comes out the other end stronger! We’re so lucky today when it comes to technology and medicine. It always makes me sad though when I hear stories like this because children are so innocent and things like this shouldn’t even be possible. You have one brave little girl on your hands!

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  • Hope and pray she’s recovered and the cancer won’t return.

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  • So it wasn’t simply the photo that indicated the disease, it was the over tiredness. Hopefully it was caught early enough and she will will fully recover quickly

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  • Poor little lady – at least she is diagnosed and things are OK now – how heart wrenching for her mum and dad.

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  • So sad. I hate hearing of children being sick. I hope she pulls through, poor little thing !

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  • Wow. Good luck to Izzy and her family. This is such a sad story, but thankfully they are sharing their experience and creating awareness amongst others. I wish them all the best.

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  • So sad to go through something like this so young. Wish her all the best for a complete recovery. She is such a little cutie.

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  • How sad :( I hope she pulls through.

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  • I really hope she will be alright.

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  • Oh that poor child and family- very glad all went well and she’s been looked after. No family should have to go through this.

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  • Poor Izzy. Thank goodness the parents were on to it and got help. a good lesson to everyone to be aware of the signs.

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  • So amazing that they managed to spot this. It could so easily have been brushed away as normal.

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  • Bruises that don’t disappear quickly can be an indication of illness too. I know a child who had not been walking unassisted for very long who suddenly started falling over a lot. The bruises took too long to fade before they eventually disappeared. Her parents took her to their GP who sent her down to the city for tests. She had a very rare form of Leukemia. Her parents were warned to be prepared as it was fairly widespread. She was in hospital for several weeks having very intensive chemo. She has been in remission for several years, has a very good career and still has to have blood tests regularly over 30 years later.

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  • I hope she heals completely. Scary to read that many of things we pass off as normal child growth can be signs of something so sinister. I’ll be checking these signs out more thoroughly

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  • Hope she’s play, what a read great reminder

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