How do you cope when your child is diagnosed with a severe illness?

Your loved ones futures depend on the actions you take now. Foundation Advice has specialist advisers New Zealand wide that can make sure you and your family are protected from the unthinkable. For more information read Andy’s story or to check out our website click here.

Andy was a typical five-year-old boy - active and busy, loves sport, playing with his friends, and being outdoors as much as possible. Primary school was going well and unsurprisingly, he came home worn out and very tired on the Friday of his first week. “People had told me that school really tires them out,’’ Andy’s mother Maria says. ‘‘So it was totally expected, and we naturally put his excessive fatigue down to that.”

A week later however, and Maria was concerned that Andy was still very tired, and sleeping a lot more than usual. And he was also complaining of tummy pain that didn’t seem to have a logical cause. Visiting the GP resulted in a “it’s viral and will blow over” diagnosis. But with a mother’s intuition, Maria was not convinced as Andy did not seem to improve.

Two days later they returned to the GP and requested that blood tests be done. That evening the Johnson family were informed that the blood test results had been received, and that they needed to immediately head to Starship Children’s Hospital. Doctors were waiting for the family on arrival. They delivered the bombshell news every parent dreads… Andy had Leukaemia. The rest of the night was spent in a surreal whirlwind of activity, with endless blood tests, an intravenous line put in, X-rays and scans.

The next morning the diagnosis was confirmed. Andy had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL), and the family were about to embark on an anticipated three-and-a-half-year treatment journey. This would include approximately 12 months of intensive chemotherapy, steroid treatments, lumbar punctures, and blood tests.

They were told that during this time Andy’s immune system would be so suppressed that he wouldn’t be able to attend school. And his two-year-old sister Sarah would have to leave her day-care centre and change to home-based childcare, due to the high risk of bringing infections and illness home. Additionally the family would have significant financial worry, as Maria would be unable to work for approximately 12 months due to Andy’s illness and treatment.

Andy and his family have a long journey ahead of them, but fortunately they now know that the prognosis for his Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia is 95% curable. As Maria and her husband have Trauma Cover, they have been able to reduce some of the financial pressure. That has included paying the free Child’s Trauma Cover Benefit, waiving all insurance premiums for six months, and paying a Public Hospital Cash Benefit under Andy’s Private Medical Cover.

If you want to protect your loved ones, talk to Jenny:
Foundation Advice Limited
Jenny Fromén
027 533 8077