Published: 18:55, 08 January 2021
| Updated: 20:03, 08 January 2021
A mum has spoken of her hellish Christmas during which she believed her three-year-old son had cancer.
Jemma Kent, from Paddock Wood, says that on December 23 she was told by a consultant at a London hospital that blood tests revealed her toddler, Grant, had the dreaded disease, only to be told by a different hospital on New Year's Eve that he didn't.
Miss Kent, a mum-of-four, said: "I felt like I was drowning. I kept saying 'I can't breathe'.
"I kept looking at him playing and thinking 'He doesn't even know he has cancer'. I even emailed Grant's playschool to say he's not coming back because he's got cancer."
On December 2, the 39-year-old noticed her son had a swollen testicle while bathing him.
Appointments at Tunbridge Wells Hospital and Evelina followed and a hernia was given as a possible diagnosis.
Throughout the month, Grant had trouble walking and sleeping due to size of the swelling, causing Miss Kent and her partner, also called Grant, 33, further anguish.
On December 17, Grant had an emergency scan and blood tests at Tunbridge Wells Hospital.
A few days later, Miss Kent was told he had an appointment at The Royal Marsden, a specialist cancer treatment hospital, on December 23.
She said she left this appointment believing her toddler had cancer and he had an X-ray to see if the disease had spread to his lungs.
A pamphlet was handed over by the doctor about the next steps after a child is diagnosed with cancer and the support she could receive.
The next day Miss Kent was told the X-ray was inconclusive because the picture was too "blurry" and he needed another scan, this time at St George's Hospital in London on December 31.
'I felt like I was drowning...'
However, doctors at St George's said that Grant did not have cancer, and a twisted cyst or trauma was given as a possible cause.
Although relieved, Miss Kent said her family's Christmas was 'hell' as they had believed the worst.
"I sat there watching him play in the front room, knowing as a mum I was helpless. It doesn't seem like we have had a Christmas, the children had their presents because how can you tell your kids they can't have their presents?"
She says she spent the Christmas season worrying about chemotherapy and even contacted her other son's school to tell them the news.
The swelling has reduced but Miss Kent says Grant is still not himself and not sleeping well. Another appointment is booked this month, but in the meantime, she is still waiting for firm answers.
A spokesperson from The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust said: “After referral to The Royal Marsden, a specialist cancer centre, by Tunbridge Wells Hospital for a specialist opinion, the patient’s family was informed it could be a cancer diagnosis hence the reason for the referral.
"However, following the patient's clinical review on December 23 and a review of local test results on December 24, with further tests carried out the following week, the family was informed it was not cancer on December 31.
"We have been in touch with the patient’s family again to address their concerns and reiterate that their son does not have cancer.”