‘I was told my baby’s bruise was nothing – it turned out to be stage 4 cancer’

A mother was left horrified when her daughter was diagnosed with cancer after doctors told her it was just a bruised eye.

Jenny Huddart, 38, and Adam Walker, 36, were left shocked when their daughter, Harper Walker, was diagnosed with stage four cancer.

Harper was just 13 months old when her parents noticed she had developed a small bruise under her right eye.

A couple of weeks later it developed into a full black eye. When her parents took Harper to the hospital, they could not have been prepared for what happened next.

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Four weeks after they first noticed the bruise, they noticed that her eye had changed shape and seemed to be out of alignment.

When they took Harper to their GP, they were allegedly unconcerned and weren’t too worried.

Speaking to the Mirror, Ms Huddart said: “In general her health has always been fine, she’s usually happy, smiley, and bounces back from bugs relatively quickly.

“We went to see the doctor as soon as we noticed it, but the GP wasn’t concerned.”

While the GP wasn’t worried about Harper’s eye, her parents were.

Ms Huddart added: “We revisited again a couple of weeks later, but she asked for us to return again in two weeks.

“However, I rang back afterwards and asked for a referral to an eye specialist, which was scheduled for the end of April.”

When Harper’s eye continued to go further out of alignment, her parents took the toddler to A&E where, after a series of tests, they were told that Harper had stage four high-risk neuroblastoma.

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Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer that develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas around the body.

The doctors said that Harper’s cancer had originated in her adrenal gland on her kidney and had spread to her limbs, ribs, hips, bone marrow, and skull.

Ms Huddart said: “Honestly, to begin with, we were just in total shock – it didn’t hit us fully at first.

“Then when it did, it was like the world had stopped. I think we both still feel like we are walking around in a daze at times.”

Following the diagnosis, Harper had chemotherapy ahead of surgery expected to take place later this year.

Ms Huddart said: “Once the intensive chemotherapy is complete, Harper will have her stem cells returned to help her start to grow new, healthy blood cells.

Harper hasn’t lost her spark. She is so welcoming and smiley for the nursing team. She lost her hair a couple of weeks into treatment, so this did irritate Harper to the point of upset.”

Both of Harper’s parents are hoping their beloved daughter makes a swift and strong recovery. Ms Huddart said: “We are hoping the scans show she is responding well, and the cancer has reduced. I’d love them to say it is no longer there, but I know that is a dream not reality.”

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