Australia

Parents forced to visit daughter with leukemia on various shifts during Covid crisis in Sydney

The parents of a young girl diagnosed with leukemia have been forced to visit their little girl in hospital on different days after brutal Covid-19 restrictions banned more than one parent from being in the room.

Lara Yaroslavceff, 4, is currently being treated at Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick after being diagnosed earlier this week.

Her parents Stacey and Matt Yaroslavceff had to move from Orange, in midwestern New South Wales, to care for their daughter – leaving behind their three-year-old and nine-month-old sons.

At a time that shocked the young family, Ms Yaroslavceff said she and her husband were devastated to learn they couldn’t be at Lara’s bedside together and had to work round-the-clock shifts instead.

The rule was only introduced this week after alarming new cases in Sydney, with 124 new infections being registered on Thursday, 48 of which were contagious in the community.

Lara Yaroslavceff, four, (pictured with her parents Matt and Stacey) is currently being treated at Sydney Children's Hospital in Randwick after contracting leukemia this week

Lara Yaroslavceff, four, (pictured with her parents Matt and Stacey) is currently being treated at Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick after contracting leukemia this week

“One of us has to go through the emotions of listening to the doctors, dealing with side effects of chemotherapy, trying to control Lara’s emotional well-being, while the other can sit all alone in a hotel room with nothing but their thoughts and nowhere to go.” because we can’t leave,” she wrote on Facebook.

‘How do we decide who will hold her during surgery and who can hug her when she wakes up?

“How do I tell Lara that Mom or Dad can’t see her? How can Matt and I be there for each other when we can only be in the same room for 15 minutes a day?

“This is not a broken leg or a sore finger. This is cancer.’

To make matters worse, as their hometown of Orange has also been locked down, they cannot return to see their other children from Sydney, and the children cannot travel to them.

Speak with A current matter, said Mrs. Yaroslavceff the night before Lara’s first surgery, she was upset and wanted her mother, but because her father was already there, she was not allowed to see her.

Lara's parents Stacey and Matt Yaroslavceff had to move from Orange, in central western New South Wales to care for their daughter - leaving behind their three-year-old and nine-month-old sons (pictured is the family together)

Lara's parents Stacey and Matt Yaroslavceff had to move from Orange, in central western New South Wales to care for their daughter - leaving behind their three-year-old and nine-month-old sons (pictured is the family together)

Lara’s parents Stacey and Matt Yaroslavceff had to move from Orange, in central western New South Wales to care for their daughter – leaving behind their three-year-old and nine-month-old sons (pictured is the family together)

The four-year-old was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and required urgent surgery

The four-year-old was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and required urgent surgery

The four-year-old was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and required urgent surgery

“She had a bad night last night and just wanted Mom and Dad to say ‘Mommy can’t come,'” she said.

On Thursday morning, Mr. Yaroslavceff had to wait in his hotel room at the Ronald McDonald house near the hospital, while his wife held Lara’s hand as she went into the operating room.

“She definitely has a hard time with us not both being there,” he told the Channel 9 programme.

“Especially for us, just 200 meters away when I look out the window, I see the hospital.

“We’re not going off-site, we’re not going to the community, we can’t go home because that’s a three or four hour drive away, so we’re literally on site and swapping, so that doesn’t seem too logical.”

But in a period of positive news for the family, NSW Health has since granted Lara’s parents a waiver meaning both can now visit her in the hospital.

A GoFundMe page is also set up to help the family financially while Lara undergoes months of medical treatment.

The little girl will have to undergo six months of intensive chemotherapy, followed by another 18 months of further treatment

The little girl will have to undergo six months of intensive chemotherapy, followed by another 18 months of further treatment

The little girl will have to undergo six months of intensive chemotherapy, followed by another 18 months of further treatment

Her parents will remain by her side in Sydney for the foreseeable future, while their two young sons will remain in Orange

Her parents will remain by her side in Sydney for the foreseeable future, while their two young sons will remain in Orange

Her parents will remain by her side in Sydney for the foreseeable future, while their two young sons will remain in Orange

An update to the page revealed that Lara’s surgery on Thursday confirmed she has acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common cancer and one of the most curable.

The little girl will have to undergo six months of intensive chemotherapy, followed by another 18 months of further treatment.

‘We will be staying in Sydney for the foreseeable future. The lockdown means we can’t take our two boys with us, but if we can, we will,” her parents wrote on the fundraiser.

WHAT IS LEUKEMIA?

Leukemia is a cancer that begins in blood-forming tissue, usually the bone marrow.

It leads to the overproduction of abnormal white blood cells, which fight infection.

But a higher white blood cell count means there’s “less room” for other cells, including red blood cells — which carry oxygen around the body — and platelets — which help blood to clot when the skin is cut.

There are many different types of leukemia, which are defined based on the immune cells they affect and how the disease progresses.

Most cases have no apparent cause, with the cancer not being contagious or hereditary.

Leukemia generally becomes more common with age – with the exception of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which peaks in children.

Other risk factors include being male, exposure to certain chemicals or radiation, and some bone marrow disorders.

Symptoms are generally vague and get worse over time.

These can be:

  • Fatigue
  • Frequent infections
  • Sweat
  • Bruising
  • Heavy periods, nosebleeds or bleeding gums gum
  • palpitations
  • shortness of breath

Acute leukemia – which progresses rapidly and aggressively – can often be cured through chemotherapy, radiotherapy or a stem cell transplant.

Chronic forms of the disease – which usually progress slowly – are usually incurable, but these patients can often live with the disease.

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