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When Carol and Peter’s daughter, Emily, was born with liver problems, CLDF didn’t even exist. Here is their story.

Emily was born on 24th September 1979 at All Saints Hospital, Chatham, Kent and a week later she was transferred to King’s College Hospital as they had detected a slight distention of her abdomen. Here she was diagnosed with a liver tumour – neuroblastoma 4S.

Emily had to undergo surgery, chemotherapy and radio therapy all before she was three months old, and thankfully she eventually responded to the treatment due to the care and dedication of the medical team led by Dr Alex Mowat (later Professor) and Mr Ted Howard. On New Year’s Eve we were able to take her home. Having spent three months alongside Emily on Queen Elizabeth Ward we met many families with children undergoing treatment with liver problems.

Emily’s story featured in her local paper.

In April 1980, following an invitation from Professor Mowat, we attended a meeting at King’s College Hospital with other parents from all over the country whose children had liver disease. There we met Peter and Sonia McCough. It was at this meeting that we agreed to form the Michael McGough Foundation. We subsequently got together with other people from Kent to form the Kent branch of the Foundation.

As well as fundraising we responded to an appeal by Dr Giorgina-Mieli-Vergani, who had asked whether we knew of normal healthy children who would volunteer to travel to Kings to give blood samples to aid research. We as a branch sent upwards of 100 brave young children by coach from Kent. The findings from this research were distributed world-wide!

When the Michael McGough Foundation became CLDF we continued to support the charity and do so to this day. We are so pleased to see the information and support which is now available to families in our situation.

Emily when she qualified as a nurse. 

Emily continued to thrive and her health has been good. She is now 41. She became a paediatric nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital and is now a school nurse. She is married with three wonderful children.

We will be forever grateful.

Emily and her husband Martin, with their children George, Daniel and Lucy.


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