Mum told son's illness was a virus but then she spotted a new symptom

When Jozef Burch suddenly fell ill, doctors initially told his concerned family that he likely had a virus.

The youngster was experiencing fatigue, sickness, and a high temperature, leading his mum Marta to book him a GP appointment.

The doctor diagnosed Jozef, from Tyldesley, Wigan, with a viral illness, assuring the family that he would recover over time. Although Jozef's condition improved briefly, it deteriorated two days later when he vomited at school.

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Over the next fortnight, the family made repeated visits to their GP practice, where they were consistently told that Jozef was suffering from a viral illness. However, one night when Jozef, 8, began shivering uncontrollably, Marta decided to take him to A&E after calling 111.

She said: "He got really shivery. I rang 111 and they told me to go to the walk-in centre. The doctor sent us straight to A&E."

At the hospital, Jozef underwent blood tests and was told he likely had a chest infection. He was given antibiotics and sent home, reports the Manchester Evening News.

His condition improved temporarily before worsening again, forcing the family to return to the hospital. "It was like a rollercoaster," said Marta, a holistic coach.

"He got slightly better and crashed again.

"We went back to the hospital and did more blood and they started scratching their heads."

With no clear diagnosis for Jozef's illness, the young lad was kept in hospital while medics scrambled to find the cause of his symptoms.

Marta said: "They told us to stay in because they wanted to see what was going on. They were thinking about sending him home as he started doing better but I asked them to keep him in, knowing he would crash again."

After being moved to Manchester Children's Hospital, Jozef faced a battery of tests.

It was on March 4 that a bone marrow biopsy delivered devastating results: Jozef was battling leukaemia.

"I never thought it would be this," Marta told the MEN. "I really thought he had a virus of some sort.

"To be honest, you hear about these things on the news and from friends, but if you hear it yourself about one of your children it's just like, what now? Where do we go? What do we do? How did it happen? Did we do something, did he do something?"

Jozef has since commenced a chemotherapy regimen, completing two cycles already. A bone marrow transplant is on the horizon, with his sister Grace stepping up as the donor.

To support the family during this challenging period, a fundraising page has been established. The page details: "As you may know, Jozef has been in hospital for many weeks and has been diagnosed with AML. He has completed his first round of chemo but will remain in hospital for the foreseeable future."

"His mum, Marta, has been by his bedside day in and day out and been his rock, however, this means that she has been unable to work."

"At such a difficult and emotional time, no parent wants to have the financial burden and worry when all they want to do is look after their child and be by their side. Jozef has been so brave and strong throughout all this and yet he still manages to keep his cheeky smile and incredibly funny sense of humour. He needs his mum by his side to continue to smile."

"Jozef, Marta and family appreciate everyone's well wishes and messages and will truly appreciate every single penny raised."

To donate, follow the link by clicking here.

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