Three-Year-Old Girl's Mosquito Bite Was Cancer

19/08/2014 16:41 | Updated 20 May 2015

 Connie McAughey insect bite revealed cancer

A holiday mosquito bite saved a three-year-old girl's life after it led to her being diagnosed with cancer.

Toddler Connie McAughey was bitten on the leg during a week-long holiday in Ibiza.

When she returned home to Kings Norton in Birmingham, the wound wouldn't heal, so mum Hayley Williams, 25, took her to the GP.

Hayley, 25, expected the doctor to prescribe antihistamines but he became concerned by her condition and sent her to hospital for blood tests.

They revealed Connie had a very low blood count and following further tests on her bone marrow it was confirmed she was suffering from leukaemia.

But because doctors were able to diagnose the cancer at the early stages she underwent aggressive chemotherapy and is now in remission.

They expect Connie, who is now four, to be officially free from leukaemia by January 2016 - less than two years after suffering the insect bite.

Delighted Hayley said: "That insect bite was a godsend because we wouldn't have caught it when we did. It was all because of the bite she ended up in hospital.

"Hopefully she will pull through all because of the insect bite raising the alarm.

"We had had a lovely time on holiday in Ibiza and then we got back I noticed the bite but I thought it was just a normal bite that you get on holiday.

"It wasn't until the next morning when I saw it go black that I thought it wasn't quite right.

"The GP was brilliant because we were transferred to hospital very quickly where all the tests were done.

"It turned out the bite had gone black because Connie had no immune system to fight it as her blood was so low from the cancer.

"As soon as we heard the words 'your daughter has cancer' our world stopped.

"Once the news had settled as much as it could it was time so start being positive for Connie's sake. You never ever think that this is ever going to happen to you or your child.

"Thankfully they had got it early, they thought it had started about two weeks before, but when they did the tests to see how serious it was it came back as serious.

"It was terrible really just not knowing what was going to happen.

"Connie started losing her hair but she has been so brave. I think we found it harder than her. She has been really cheerful through all of it. I am so proud of her.

"Hopefully now the treatments are going down to once a month it will be fine for Connie to go back to nursery and start school in September."

Hayley and Connie's dad Shaun, 29, are now backing the final stage of Birmingham Children's Hospital's £4 million Children's Cancer Centre Appeal.

To donate to the appeal visit


Suggest a correction