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4-year-old boy battling cancer can't get chemo due to COVID-19 diagnosis

Posted at 10:48 PM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 22:48:26-04

ST. JAMES, N.Y. – A 4-year-old in New York is recovering from brain surgery to treat cancer but he can't get the chemotherapy he needs because he’s been diagnosed with COVID-19.

When Matteo Ferruzzi started feeling sick, his mother, Jennifer, says she wasn’t that concerned.

"Honestly, we just thought it was a stomach virus," she told News 12 Long Island.

But quickly, other symptoms developed, including Matteo’s eyes, which began to cross. The boy was rushed to Cohen’s Children’s Hospital, where it was discovered that he had an inoperable malignant brain tumor.

"I didn't expect to get this diagnosis," said Jennifer.

Matteo had emergency surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain. The St. James boy was then sent home to recover before he could begin chemotherapy. However, that's when things became more complicated.

Jennifer came down with the coronavirus and had to self-quarantine.

"It was hard for me to be in the bedroom so sick and hearing him out there, not be able to tell him ‘it's OK, mommy's here,’" she said.

Matteo also tested positive for the coronavirus, which has now delayed him getting the lifesaving treatment he needs.

"The best time I can get a good cry in is when I am in the shower," said Jennifer.

Jennifer says both she and Matteo were recently retested, but both are still positive. She’s hoping and praying the next test will give doctors the go ahead to save her son's life.

"It's such a crazy time for the whole world,” said Jennifer. “We are all in a crisis."

This is the message Jennifer says she wants to share during this heart wrenching time:

"If your child is showing symptoms or complaining about something, absolutely get them into their pediatrician right away,” said Jennifer. “And even if it's nothing, it is better to be safe than sorry."

Once Matteo gets to start chemo, he will have treatments for at least a year.

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