Police quiz mum over bruises on newborn that turned out to be sign of illness

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    A mum who was quizzed by police after a hospital accused her of abusing her baby has been left heartbroken after the bruise-like marks turned out to be leukaemia.

    Sammie-Joe Smith, 30, was mortified when a police officer and social workers turned up after she took 15-week-old Wendie-Lou to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

    The mum-of-one had been to see a GP after unexplained bruises began appearing under the tot's skin but says she was told by a doctor they were nothing to worry about.

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    But having lost her younger sister Megan to rectal cancer just a year ago at the age of 27, Sammie-Joe began fearing the worst when the marks did not fade.

    Sammie-Joe and her partner Gavyn Smith, 36, were horrified when they took their firstborn child to A&E only to be suspected of abuse.

    The police were called and the couple were placed on supervised contact for three days meaning a social worker was constantly present while Wendie-Lou underwent tests.

    They were then given the devastating news on Wednesday (October 12) that Wendie-Lou had stage four Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

    The youngster is now undergoing rounds of chemotherapy at Birmingham Children's Hospital.

    Sammie-Joe's sister, Terri Smith, 36, said Wendie started to present "with these bruise-like marks" under her skin.

    She explained: "It almost looked like poor circulation, that was probably the first instance. Sammie took her to a number of GP’s in August and they told her nothing was wrong until they spotted one bruise on her rib.

    "The marks weren’t going away, they were just getting worse, so they took her to Worcester Hospital."

    She said the hospital "suspected abuse" and contacted the police.

    "Next minute you know there’s an officer and social worker there," she added.

    "I had a call saying it was going to child protection services and there was an investigation. That lasted three days. You've got to have a social worker there constantly."

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    Terri says the reaction from the authorities was "over the top".

    "I’ve worked in child protection before, I kind of knew they were just following procedure but they weren’t listening to what she was saying," she explained, adding that thankfully there "was one consultant who listened to Sammie-Joe's concerns".

    She said the little one was diagnosed last Wednesday "but only after we pushed and fought for a second opinion".

    "If she would have gone home and we hadn't pushed for answers and took the medical advice she wouldn’t be here now," she said. "It makes me sick to the stomach to think a baby would go home that sick."

    Terri said the situation brought back bad memories of what happened to her sister.

    "You want to trust medical professionals but they get things wrong," she said, adding that there were "links between the type of mutations between what Megan had and the type of leukaemia that Wendie-Lou has".

    Matthew Hopkins, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said they were "sorry to hear of Wendie-Lou’s diagnosis" but were "unable to comment on individual patient care for confidentiality reasons" and encouraged the family to get in touch directly to discuss any concerns about care.


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    • Family
    • Cancer
    • Police
    • Hospital

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