Caitlin Molyneux knew something was wrong when her âsmilingâ little boy suddenly stopped laughing and crawling.
The 22-year-old mother began to notice that 13-month-old Zaki “was not himself at all” and felt “sluggish”.
He was smiling and happy until eight weeks ago and was first diagnosed with a viral infection following a visit to a GP.
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However, when Zaki did not improve, he was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital where doctors made a devastating diagnosis.
Scans at the hospital revealed a lump on Zaki’s heart and a new biopsy showed the severity of his condition.
He was diagnosed with a thymoma, a potentially fatal tumor that had wrapped around the young boy’s heart and was putting pressure on his internal organs. The tumor had also collapsed his windpipe.
Doctors had to give the family even more heartbreaking news, telling them the tumor was inoperable due to its size.
Caitlin’s sister Courtney spoke to ECHO about the weeks that led to the overwhelming news.
The 22-year-old said: “It got to the point where he wasn’t himself at all. He wasn’t laughing, he stopped crawling, a bit of everything, he was just lethargic.
âHe was just laying there and looking at you. Normally he’s a very happy baby, a very smiling baby, and he kind of stopped laughing and smiling. He really wasn’t himself at all.
âThey said it was the whole size of his chest, it was really big.
âThis is the only baby in the literature to have been diagnosed with this.
“Alder Hey said there was a little girl or boy in Paris who was four years old with that. They were the youngest back then but now Zaki is; back then he was 11 months old. . “
Alder Hey’s doctors decided the best thing to do was to try and shrink the tumor so that it was small enough for surgery.
Zaki is now in her third round of chemotherapy. The family hope to receive good news before Christmas telling them that the drug has shrunk the tumor enough so that it can be removed surgically.
Courtney has created a gofundme page for Caitlin, Zaki and her two year old sister Zahra, to help the family during this difficult time.
Courtney added: “We were all devastated – nothing like this ever really happened in our family. Obviously we had deaths in the family but nothing to do with sick children like that, it was a big one. shock to all of us. “
On the fundraising page, Courtney paid tribute to her sister’s strength as a mom in the face of her son’s chilling diagnosis.
She said, âAnyone who knows my sister Caitlin knows how strong she has been and that her children are everything to her. Many friends and family have asked how they can help, so I created this page to help ease the financial burden of cancer.
âDuring this time, Caitlin also moved and created a beautiful house for our miracle to come home. Those of you who know Zaki, know that he is the cutest, funniest and most adorable little boy. the sweetest and it fights this horrible disease.
âFrom me and my family, we greatly appreciate your support, wishes, gifts and prayers for Zaki’s long road to recovery and we cannot thank you enough for your support during this time. Thank you. “
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