A MORAY MUM who was delighted that national television was to feature a storyline that dealt with the difficult issues of having a child suffer from neuroblastoma has hit out at TV producers.
Gail Paterson, the mother of toddler Eilidh Paterson who inspired communities throughout the country with her brave battle against the childhood cancer, used her social media page to heavily criticise the way Coronation Street portrayed a child with the same form of cancer.
Mrs Paterson had praised the television show when she learned last summer that they would tackle the issue head-on – pointing out her belief that had they done so earlier it would have helped her understand more about what neuroblastoma was.
However, Mrs Paterson has now criticised the show after watching the episode where a child is prepared for surgery, saying it was totally unrealistic and made the process look like “a walk in the park”.
Mrs Paterson said: “Why bother with the storyline at all if they are going to sugar coat it instead of doing it accurately? This is a slap in the face to every child, sibling, parent of children who have endured this monstrous disease.
“Tumour removal is major surgery, whether it’s intermediate or high risk neuroblastoma – to show otherwise is ridiculous. The child would not be on the ward, asking for and getting a drink after waking from the anaesthetic.
“The child would be in High Dependency Unit for a start, usually hooked up to a continuous morphine infusion with a ‘push’ button – and most likely an epidural for at least 24 hours, like Eileidh and many other children I know have had.”
Mrs Paterson said that rather than raising awareness of neuroblastoma all the drama managed to do was “turn it into a farce”, giving the impression that it was an easy disease to treat.
She added: “Nothing about neuroblastoma is easy – it tears your life apart and you basically have to sign your child’s life away and leave it in the hands of others – knowing at every part of treatment could potentially kill them.”