Aussie girl, 4, dies after hospital misdiagnoses her with UTI: 'So much pain'

The parents of a four-year-old Queensland girl are mourning the loss of their daughter after they say she was misdiagnosed by doctors and died.

Emerara Kennedy lost her battle with stage 4 neuroblastoma last Tuesday, a cancer commonly found in the adrenal glands.

Her heartbroken father Jamie Lewis said she was diagnosed in November 2021, and was given a 50/50 chance of survival.

But four months earlier they took her to Maryborough Hospital in Queensland where the parent's claim they were told a urinary tract infection was causing their little girl pain.

Emerara Kennedy in hospital with cancer
Emerara Kennedy, 4, died last week from a rare form of cancer that her parent's claim was originally missed by doctors at a Queenland hospital. Source: Facebook/Sunrise

Her condition worsened over a two-week period but each time they took her to hospital, the couple say they were sent home.

"Her pain was worse, I’d never seen a little child in that kind of pain she was in for that long," her mum Stevie Kennedy told Sunrise.

"I had a few doctors telling me it might just be behavioural things, which I can understand that children might have behavioural things and be acting out, but pain is different."

Parents receive devastating diagnosis: 'Already at stage 4

Emerara was on antibiotics for months, but there was no improvement.

The four-year-old lost "an extreme amount of weight" and she wasn't eating. She was also awake crying every night, Ms Kennedy said.

"My little girl was changing very fast right in front of my eyes, and they weren’t listening," she added.

It was only when her parents pushed for a scan that they found out it was cancer.

"They did a biopsy and the results came back positive for neuroblastoma cancer, and straight away she was already at stage 4," Mr Lewis told 7NEWS.

Mum Stevie Kennedy with daughter Emerara Kennedy
Her mum Stevie Kennedy knew something wasn't right but said doctors 'weren't listening'. Source: Facebook

Calls for change in rural hospitals

The devastated mum said she "placed my entire trust in somebody who has gone and studied and trained to be able to detect these sorts of things," but feels there's a big issue with rural hospitals.

The parents say "all the great doctors and specialists are sent to the big cities" but rural areas need them too.

In a GoFundMe page set up for their daughter, Ms Kennedy said she will "never have the chance to experience a full and happy life".

"Emerara has the most amazing and vibrant personality with an absolute heart of gold and from the very beginning she was special," they wrote.

"Her journey in this world has been cut so short, especially for a little girl who has so much to offer this world.

"She has been so brave and so strong through this whole fight and I'm so honoured to be her mother, she gave my life a reason and a purpose."

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