Cancer is never easy: I had to explain that she was going to heaven.

They wanted to prepare soup for her – so I had to explain that she was going to heaven. Cancer is never easy, but it’s particularly difficult when it’s your own child going through it. This family from Western Australia had a girl with neuroblastoma. Not only did they have to mourn the loss of their daughter, but they also had to explain to their two young sons that their little sister was going to heaven. Here is their heartbreaking story.

When Meagan Collard was pregnant for the third time, her dream came true when doctors told her it was a girl. She, of course, loved her two young sons, but she had always wished for a daughter as well. The children, both under five years old, were also excited. The family was preparing to set up her room, with her brothers eagerly choosing clothes for their future little sister. When baby Piper finally arrived, the whole family was excited.  In May 2018, Piper began vomiting and had very high fevers. The doctor was concerned about her pale skin and prescribed antibiotics for what seemed to be an ear infection. He said to come back in a week if her skin color didn’t return. A few days later, Meagan took Piper to the hospital as her fever had increased.

They were told it was just a virus and sent home. However, a month later, Piper vomited again. Meagan felt a hard lump on her daughter’s side while feeding her and went straight to the doctor. The doctor said it seemed to be inflammation of the liver and sent them to the hospital. After waiting for tests at the hospital, the doctor came to explain that there were only three reasons why her liver would be swollen like that: HIV, hepatitis, or cancer. Meagan had tested negative on the first two tests during pregnancy, so it was unlikely. And indeed, her blood tests were abnormal. They were sent to the children’s hospital and spent the whole next day undergoing tests. The final goodbyes On June 20, 2019, Piper took her last breath. It was a heartbreaking moment for the whole family. Her brothers also had the chance to hug their little sister one last time.

Asian female Pediatrician doctor examining her little baby patient with stethoscope in medical room at hospital.
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