Tragic schoolgirl, 11, died just three weeks after complaining of belly ache

A dad has spoken of his heartache at the death of his 11-year-old daughter – just three weeks after she first complained of a stomach ache.

John Woods' daughter, Carly died on Monday, November 1 at Liverpool's Alder Hey Children's Hospital.

And now he has told the Liverpool Echo of the harrowing situation he, and his partner Kelly, Carly's mum, had gone through leading up the devastating moment the hospital told them that there was nothing more they could do.

John, 37, who lives in Skelmersdale, said: "She woke up on the Sunday morning and said, 'dad, I've got a belly ache'. I was putting clothes away and I just said, well if you're trying to get out of school I'm still sending you.

"It was her first year in senior school and she was having a bit of trouble settling in. I thought she was trying to play on it.

"As the day went on she was moaning a little bit more and I asked her what she'd had for her breakfast this morning.

"She said she wasn't really hungry. I said you've probably got hunger pains, get downstairs and I'll do you your dinner.

"I did get her something to eat but she didn't really eat much of it.

"It got to bedtime and she was whimpering a little bit so Kelly just gave her some Ibuprofen.

"Kelly come back in the bedroom and said I think she might have appendicitis. I said we'll see how she gets on tomorrow morning

"At five o'clock in the morning, my partner wakes me and says can you take the day off and watch the baby, I'm going to take her to the hospital."

Hospital scans showed that Carly's liver was "bigger than it should be," but doctors had no idea why this had happened.

She remained at Ormskirk Hospital for four days, where more tests were carried out, before eventually being moved to Alder Hey Children's Hospital.

It was there that more scans spotted something that the family could never have expected.

Mr Woods explained: "I was called into the office and the doctor told me that straight away they could see on the ultrasound her liver was four times larger than it should be and it was just ram-packed and stuffed with multiple tumours."

The 11-year-old had shockingly been diagnosed with Hepatocellular Neoplasm, a rare type of liver cancer.

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He continued: "They said they only see one or two of these cancers each year and normally there's some sort of pre-warning, usually the kid has been in hospital or been sick before."

Before attempting to perform a liver transplant, doctors told the family that they would need to give her an "invasive and experimental" form of chemotherapy by inserting a line in the side of her neck.

A procedure to do this took place, but hospital staff struggled to bring her round after the surgery.

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Eventually, she woke, but the parents were told to go home that night because Carly's salt levels needed upping before chemotherapy could begin.

"We went back in on the Sunday morning and they told us there was medically nothing they could do," Mr Woods recalled.

A fundraiser has been set up by Carly's cousin to help the family.

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