Little girl, 6, told she can't hug family after turning RADIOACTIVE following experimental treatment

A YOUNG girl was banned from hugging her own family after she turned radioactive when undergoing cancer treatment.

Poppy Bailey, 6, was forced to stay for weeks in an isolated lead-lined room with an airlock style door after she was injected with an experimental drug.

The medicine, which kills cells, known as neuroblastoma, caused side affects including making her radioactive.

The young tot from, Milton Keynes, first fell ill in April 2020, when she lost her appetite, started to feel tired and depressed and began to feel pain in her leg, reports The Liverpool Echo.

When her parents brought her to the hospital they found out Poppy had a large tumour wrapped around her heart.

Doctors broke the news that this was a sign of neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer that mostly affects babies and young children.

Poppy immediately started treatments, and went through 13 round of chemotheraphy.

But when this did not show positive results – doctors decided to enroll her at a University College London Hospital clinical trial.

It saw her injected with an iodine-based radioactive drug – 131-I.

After her first dose, she was forced to stay away from her family, as she had recieved high-levels of radiation.

Her mother Claire said: : “The injection only takes 20 minutes and doesn’t hurt but it made Poppy radioactive, which was so hard.

"It was really hard being away from her like that.

"After the first treatment was allowed to come home for a few days but they measured her levels and she was still radioactive.”

She added: "Normally our bedside routine is lying next to her reading a book until she falls asleep but we couldn't do any of that.

What is neuroblastoma?

Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer that develops in nerve cells that have been left behind from their development in the womb.

It usually develops in the adrenal glands next to the kidneys but can also form in the spinal cord, neck, chest, pelvis or abdomen and is able to spread to other organs.

It is unknown what causes the cancer but it affects around 100 children in the UK every year with many of them under five.

The outlook for children diagnosed with the condition varies and mainly depends on if the cancer has spread.

"As a parent you just want to hug them but it’s not allowed.”

After six weeks, she was once again reunited with her family, including her 18-month-old brother Oscar.

Claire said: “Oscar adores Poppy, he absolutely loves her so he didn’t understand what was going on when she moved out.

"When they saw each other again they just started playing almost as if they had never been apart.

"They did have a little hug and there were tears from me but not from the children.”

Now Poppy is undergoing immunotherapy in Southampton – ahead of a surgery where her tumour will hopefully be removed.

The family are currently fundraising to raise money for treatments that are not yet available on the NHS – in New York and Barcelona.

The family have already raised £100,000 towards the £250,000 cost of Poppy undergoing pioneering treatment in America.

Claire explained: "When a child has cancer you feel so powerless – you have no control.

"So fundraising is something we can do to give her the best chance of a good future.

"Poppy is amazing and I'm really proud of her.

"When I say you are so brave she says 'what for?' because she doesn't understand how serious it is."

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