Thousands raise £15,000 for Scots terminal cancer teen after she was wrongly diagnosed with arthritis

Thousands of people have raised £15,000 for a Scots teenager battling terminal cancer – after doctors diagnosed her with arthritis.

Alix Cassidy, 17, first visited her GP in October 2018 after her fingers went numb and she was struggling to use them.

The Drumchapel teenager was sent home with painkillers, and following more trips to her local GP and A&E she was repeatedly misdiagnosed.

The family decided to go private and a 10-minute reflex test saw Alix rushed to hospital for an emergency MRI.

She was repeatedly misdiagnosed until surgeons confirmed she had an aggressive cancerous tumour on her spinal chord. A Go Fund me page was created to raise £15,000 to fund private stem cell treatment with a Scottish company.

Despite the NHS introducing stem cell treatment in January, the family have not been offered it.

Kind well-wishers have raised over £15,600 since the Record told her story.

Each stem cell treatment costs £5,000 and mum Caron plans on being the first to be tested.

We told yesterday how Alix visited her GP twice and was told she had arthritis before she admitted herself to A&E.

Mum Caron, 39, said medics were dismissive when she took Alix to A&E at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and they insisted she wait for a scheduled appointment to examine her “arthritis” after Christmas.

Alix couldn’t open her Christmas presents so the family decided to go private and get a second opinion.

Within 10 minutes a neurologist confirmed she didn’t have arthritis and Alix was rushed for an emergency MRI.

Three hours after her scan, doctors at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital told the teenager they had found a tumour on her spinal chord.

She had to endure a five-hour operation for a surgeon to take a biopsy of the tissue around her spine.

Caron said: “Alix lost use of her hands and left leg but she had no pain. It was only her back that was sore so they thought she might have an inflammatory disease.”

“Her surgeon told us he had looked at her biopsy and there was in fact no tumour, it was just a growth.

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She stayed at the surgery aftercare unit for eight weeks when neurologists began to speculate that there might be a tumour after all.

Before her 17th birthday in March, Alix was allowed to go home in a wheelchair and was due to return for another MRI scan but both her arms and legs gave in.

She was admitted to A&E after she fell at home and was unable to get up.

On April 25th Alix had another biopsy and the surgeon confirmed she had a cancerous tumour on her spinal chord.

The next day the heartbroken teenager was told it was incurable.

Caron said: “Her surgeon told us that the biopsy found an aggressive tumour in her spinal chord.

“How they could not have noticed this over five MRI scans and two biopsies is unbelievable.

“He said they originally thought the tumour was at stage 4 but it’s now at stage 9.”

Caron praised her daughter for her strength and determination.

She said:" Alix is amazing. She has her moments when she cries and says I don’t want to die. She’s got her wee dog, her friends and her whole life ahead of her.

She added:”The NHS convinced us for 14 weeks that there wasn’t a tumour and now they’ve told us she’s got two months to live.

“All those months she could have been receiving proper treatment. I’ve lost my job to become Alix’s full time carer. I’ll do everything I can to save her.”

A spokesperson for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: "We understand this is a very difficult time for Alix and her family and fully realise how very upsetting this is for them.

"This is an incredibly complex case with a very difficult diagnostic process and we continue to do all we can to support Alix and to reassure her and her family of the appropriateness of the assessment, diagnosis and treatment in this case."

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