On Thursday, Ashlee Bagas held her newborn son for the first time in three weeks. Emmett’s little body had previously been anchored to his bed at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital, the tubes helping to drain his kidneys too delicate to allow him to be moved.
“It was so surreal [to hold him again],” Ashlee, 24, told Mamamia.
At just five weeks old, Emmett is living with angiosarcoma, an aggressive cancer that affects the internal lining of the blood vessels. It’s incredibly rare. In fact, Ashlee has been told Emmett is likely to be the only newborn in Australia and possibly the world currently diagnosed with the disease.
Dr Luciano Dalla-Pozza of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia, who is not involved in Emmett’s care, said angiosarcoma can occur in any age group, but is more common in adults.
“Maybe worldwide 50-70 patients have been described in the literature. It’s more common than that, but [clinicians] often don’t report them,” he told Mamamia. “Still, it’s extraordinarily rare.”