Dundee mum’s anguish after young Garvie is given shock leukaemia diagnosis

Young Garvie in his hospital bed

A week ago, seven-year-old Garvie Winter was kept home from school because he seemed a bit off colour.

On Tuesday Garvie, from Downfield, was in hospital in Glasgow beginning chemotherapy treatment for leukaemia.

His devastated mum Haley Winter said she couldn’t believe everything that has happened in the past few days.

Garvie with mum Haley

Speaking from hospital in Glasgow, Haley, 32, said she felt like she was living in a horrible dream.

She said: “So much has happened in the past week that it’s really difficult to take it all in.

“Right now, we’re all just living day-to-day and staying as positive as we can — there’s honestly nothing else for it right now.

“This is like something you watch on television or in a movie. You never actually think it’s going to happen to you.

“It’s all happened so quickly. I can’t believe I’m going to have to watch Garvie go through all this and there’s nothing I can do. Sometimes I think I won’t be able to cope, but I’m going to have to.”

With grandad Ian Walker

Garvie, a pupil at Fintry Primary, first began to feel a bit unwell during the weekend of October 21 and 22, and seemed to be sleeping a lot.

Haley said: “He went to school on the following Monday, then on the Tuesday, when his gran went to take him to lunch, she phoned me to say she didn’t think he seemed right.

“I took him home and put him to bed — he was a terrible grey colour and I was actually genuinely worried he wouldn’t waken up in the morning if I didn’t do something.”

Haley phoned NHS 24 and Garvie was seen at King’s Cross Hospital later that night.

Garvie gets a hug from big sister Madison

She said: “I was told to take him to Ninewells the following day for blood tests. He spent the Wednesday night in hospital in Dundee and the following day he was transferred to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

“Leukaemia had been confirmed and they told me that treatment would have to begin as quickly as possible.”

Garvie will be in hospital for four weeks for a course of chemotherapy.

Haley said: “I haven’t asked any questions beyond that at this stage. I don’t know if I want to hear the answers yet — we’re going to go for the treatment and take it from there.”

She said so far, Garvie is coping well and staying cheerful, adding: “Garvie is being brilliant, at times you wouldn’t even think he was ill because he’s staying so cheery but obviously he now has such a lot to go through.”

Haley has two other children, 10-year-old Madison and Hunter, three.

She said: “Hunter is too young to understand but Madison has been to visit her little brother in hospital. Obviously I’m spending as much time as possible at hospital, but I’m also trying to come back to Dundee to see the other children.

Garvie with dad Shaun McVicar

“My sister Cheryl realised that as well as having to cope with Garvie’s illness there is a lot of strain in dealing with this financially.

“Travel costs are expensive and there’s living costs while in Glasgow. She set up a Justgiving page and within a few days people have already donated £1,000.

“Cheryl reckoned if we could raise £2,000 that would take a lot of the pressure off in the short-term. I can’t believe how kind people have been.”

Anyone wishing to help Cheryl and the family out should visit: justgiving.com/crowdfunding/garviewinter.