A heartbreaking image showing five-year-old Aubrey Burge comforting her brother Beckett, a year younger, who is suffering from leukaemia, in the washroom, has gone viral, according to media reports.
The photograph was shared by their mother Kaitlyn Burge, from Texas, United States.
Reports stated that Beckett was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia last year. It is a form of blood cancer which affects the white bone marrow.
Australia’s Seven News said Kaitlyn, in a Facebook posting, spoke about the impact of childhood cancer on the entire family and how Aubrey, went from playing with her brother to sitting in a hospital room with him.
According to Kaitlyn, her daughter would always take care of her brother even when he needed to vomit between their play sessions.
“One thing they don’t tell you about childhood cancer is that it affects the entire family.
“My two kids, 15 months apart, went from playing in school and at home together, to sitting in a cold hospital room together.
“My then four-year-old watched her brother go from an ambulance to the ICU,” she said.
Kaitlyn recalled how her daughter watched as a “dozen doctors” poked and prodded her brother with needles and medications.
“A little over a month after he was released from the hospital, she watched him struggle to walk and struggle to play.
“The lively, energetic and outgoing little brother she once knew was now a quiet, sick and very sleepy little boy,” she added.
Beckett had lost 5kg since his diagnosis.
“This is childhood cancer. Take it or leave it,” Kaitlyn said.
Meanwhile, another news report quoted Kaitlyn as stating that Aubrey could not understand the different therapies her brother had to undergo to regain his strength.
“To her, it was something special he got to do that she didn’t. Why couldn’t they go to their favourite trampoline park anymore? Why couldn’t they go to the splash pads they previously went to? Why didn’t he have to go back to school, but she did?” she added.
In a previous post, Kaitlyn revealed how she had learned of her son’s condition.
She said that Beckett’s day-care called her on April 23, 2018, because her son was having a fever while an after-hours paediatric centre diagnosed him with an ear infection and prescribed antibiotics.
When his fever spiked to 104 the next day, Beckett was sent to the Children’s Health in Plano.
“I was expecting to hear he had a punctured eardrum or something he would bounce right back from with a few days of antibiotics. The ER nurse walked in about an hour later and had a portable cell phone in her hand.
“She said ‘your paediatrician is on the phone and would like to speak with you’. I figured he was just checking in. That’s the kind of guy he is and that’s why we love him. He informed us that the CT scan came with pneumonia in his left lung and his labs came back with a haemoglobin of 5.5 and a white blood cell count of 150,000. He then informed us that Beckett had leukaemia,” she added. – Malaysiakini