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Sunday 16th June 2019

Facebook saved 4-year-old's life

3rd March 2011

A four-year-old boy has been diagnosed with leukaemia after his worried father posted a picture of his son on Facebook.


Anaesthetic assistant Philip Rice, 34, was putting his son Ted to bed when he spotted a rash.

He was so worried that he uploaded a photograph of it on Facebook, a move he now believes might have saved his son’s life.

Within minutes he received a message back from a colleague at Salford Royal Hospital in Greater Manchester.

Dr Sara Barton saw the picture, recognised the rash as a symptom of acute lymphocytic leukaemia and urged him to take Ted to hospital immediately where he was diagnosed.

Mr Rice, 34, from Bury, put his son to bed after his wife Sarah, who is a midwife, went to do a night shift.

He said: “I had that gut feeling when something is wrong. Looking back, in my heart of hearts, I knew what was going on but I was so frightened I couldn’t admit it to myself.

“There is a 75% and when it's put into that perspective, the numbers aren’t good enough when it’s your child. That picture probably saved us.”

Ted, who is now in a wheelchair, has daily chemotherapy at home and visits Manchester Children's Hospital twice a week.

Dr Barton said: “Philip just happened to mention, on Facebook of all places, that his four-year-old son had a non-blanching rash. A very short conversation ensued where we established that Ted should be seen in hospital. Next day I learned that Ted had acute lymphocytic leukaemia.”


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