A Lotus River family who thought their son had Covid-19 was shocked to learn he has a very rare form of cancer.
Six-year-old Jihaad Damon started showing symptoms in December 2020, and has been diagnosed with Acute Undifferentiated Leukaemia (AUL), where the patient displays a variety of non-specific symptoms making it difficult for doctors to peg down the type.
His parents say doctors told them this was the first case of its kind in South Africa.
Dad Thaabit Damon, 36, says when his son complained of a sore throat and sore tummy and developed a fever, they got a skrik because they thought he might have Covid.
“He has had a perfect bill of health all his life, he hardly ever got sick and most times we would treat a flu with immune boosters,” says Thaabit.
The boy was initially diagnosed with constipation, and when he complained about a sore throat, he received antibiotics.
“He took the antibiotics thrice and we went back to the doctor on 21 December and this is when he referred us to do a Covid test.”
The parents took Jihaad to a paediatrician who admitted him to hospital because of his uncontrollable fever and there they discovered that his blood cell counts were low.
“Doctor said something wasn’t right with his blood. The red and white blood cells were low but the platelets were normal,” says Thaabit.
Jihaad was admitted to Red Cross Children’s hospital for a biopsy on 23 December and two days later, on Christmas, the results revealed an unidentified form of leukaemia.
The little boy immediately started a three-year course of chemotherapy but seven months later, the family’s medical aid has been depleted and they need help.
“We humbly request any financial assistance to give Jihaad a fighting chance with his treatment regime and continue his fight against this ugly beast. Our target is R40 000,” says Thaabit, adding that they have a monthly hospital bill of R5000.
To assist, find the Backabuddy account, Jihaad Cancer Fund.
Family appeals for financial aid for 6-year-old’s treatment.