Devastating diagnosis for three-year-old girl who thought she had tonsillitis

Devastating diagnosis for three-year-old girl who thought she had tonsillitis

Three-year-old Arlee O'Mahoney from Queensland has been "pretty unwell" for the last few months, according to her mum Kelli O'Mahoney.

Arlee developed an ear infection and tonsillitis which she "just couldn't shake".

When Arlee’s tonsils became so “swollen she was having trouble breathing” and she looked a “little pale”, doctors took a blood test.

This was when the family was told devastating news: Arlee had leukemia, which was affecting her body's ability to fight off other infections.

“Because her white and red blood counts were so low, they couldn’t fight the common things she was picking up, probably just from kindy,” O’Mahoney told 7NEWS.com.au.

Things got worse for the family after it was revealed that little Arlee had acute myeloid leukemia, which is a rare form of the disease that has a 60 to 80 per cent treatability rate.

“It’s not one of the better ones to have,” O’Mahoney said.

Arlee is eight days into chemotherapy and is set to have four rounds of treatment, which isn't something her mother is looking forward to.

“She knows she’s sick,” O’Mahoney said.

“Other than that, she’s pretty well right now.

“She’s handling it really well. She’s really strong and brave.

“She’s still her bubbly self.”

The family has turned to GoFundMe to raise money for the family as Kelli and her husband have to miss work as Arlee will be spending months in Queensland Children's Hospital, with more than $19,000 being donated.

“You just don’t realise until you’re in that environment - in Arlee’s ward alone - how many kids need blood,” O’Mahoney said.

“It opens your eyes up to how important it is, if you can, to donate blood.”

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