NewsPinellas County


Venice family says fever and bruising led to 3-year-old's leukemia diagnosis

3-year-old diagnosed with blood cancer in March
Posted at 11:40 PM, Apr 19, 2019

VENICE, Fla. -- A Venice family said their 3-year-old son had sudden bruising and fevers.

After taking him to the doctors, he was later diagnosed with leukemia.

"He started to get recurring fevers that would not exhibit any other symptoms. He didn’t have a runny nose or sore throat. He wasn’t tugging at his ears," said Kathleen Hutchinson.

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Kathleen Hutchinson and her husband, Jeremy, brought their son to his pediatrician in March.

"She said, 'I'd really like you to come in,' I said, 'I just need you to tell me, so she did,'" Kathleen Hutchinson said.

"She said, we got Dean's blood work and it looks like he has leukemia," recalled Hutchinson.

Dean spent nearly two weeks at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. His parents said Dean had a difficult time understanding why they packed a suitcase.

"They told us to pack a bag. It was just quick," Hutchinson said.

"It's like living in a tornado. Honestly, the first 15 to 21 days for sure, you just wish it could be you and not him," Jeremy Hutchinson said.

Dean needed numerous procedures including blood transfusions.

"He had surgery where they placed a port under the skin. They do a bone marrow draw and a spinal fluid draw to see if the leukemia has reached the brain and spinal cord," said Dean's mother.

His parents said Dean's leukemia is in remission. He will need chemotherapy for the next three years. Dean will celebrate his fourth birthday on Thursday, April 25.

"As a mom, it's your worse fear. But I remember watching a movie with my kids at one point and it was about a child with cancer and I couldn’t watch it. I said that's something I could never get through," she said.

The family's church, The Bridge Church in Venice, will encourage people to register with DKMS and Be The Match on April 28 in support of Dean.

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The church held a blood driver earlier in the month and filled every appointment and received 26 units of blood.

"Just remember Christ is with the brokenhearted and hears our prayers and hears our cries and can carry you," said Dean's mom.