Aussie dad's bleeding nose leads to devastating diagnosis: 'It wouldn't stop'

Tim Davison was rushed to hospital after blood works revealed something alarming. Now he's in a fight for life against T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.

Source: Supplied
Tim (pictured with his daughter Ava (left) and in hospital (right). Source: Supplied

An Aussie dad has revealed the ordinary symptoms he ignored before eventually receiving a life-changing diagnosis. Tim Davison told Yahoo News Australia he had a "persistent cough" before "randomly" experiencing a "constant" nosebleed which in two short weeks led to the discovery of leukaemia.

The 37-year-old, who lives in Perth but works away as a belt splicer in the mines, said he felt mostly fine and didn't suspect ill-health. Not until two weeks ago when things took a sudden turn.

"I've got a couple of kids, and as parents do, you get a little drained sometimes," he told Yahoo this week from hospital. "I started to get a little cough (two weeks ago) but I went to work.

"Randomly, my gums started bleeding and just wouldn't stop, which I thought was quite strange," he continued.

"Overnight it stopped but the next day I got nosebleeds. I went to work but it was a big whirlwind from then".

Davison said the bleeding "wouldn't stop" and that it was "a consistent leak" so he went to the nurse at the mine site where he works. After some preliminary testing, he was rushed to the local hospital where doctors discovered his "levels weren't good". Next thing, he was on a medical flight to Royal Perth Hospital.

The dad-of-two said his platelet levels — tiny blood cells made up of bone marrow from larger cells — were "near nonexistent". They're often low due to an underlying condition. It's common among people with leukaemia or other bone marrow cancer.

At this point, the bleeding had stopped, but it started again swiftly after arriving at Perth Hospital. Doctors were "pretty quick" to diagnose him with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, which in adults has a survival rate of less than 50 per cent.

Tim and his partner Kodie. Source: Supplied
Tim and his partner Kodie. Source: Supplied

The news was hard to swallow as his mum died from cancer 16 years ago. "When you try and tell the family a big C word, it brings up a few thoughts. But I'm a fighter so we just get through it," he said.

But breaking the news to his daughters, aged one and three, and his partner Kodie was tough. "At the very start, it was obviously a whirlwind," he said.

Currently still in hospital, the 37-year-old is undergoing two rounds of chemotherapy a week. "They're just monitoring and obviously looking at all the side effects and all that," he said.

"I did have a bit of mass in my chest (which had been causing the cough), which has subsided a lot. For now, I'm just staying positive," he added.

Davison is now off work for a "long time" while his wife remains at home with the kids. Tim's brother Daniela has created a GoFundMe page to help support the family in the meantime. Meanwhile, Kodie's mother has flown from Mackay to Perth to be with the family.

Tim's family are rallying around him and are raising funds for his treatment. Source: Supplied
Tim's family are rallying around him and are raising funds to help out with ongoing costs. Source: Supplied
  • It's a type of blood cancer that begins in the bone marrow and can spread to other organs.

  • It progresses rapidly without treatment

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) is the most common cancer among children. It’s most often diagnosed between ages 2 and 10

  • There are three types of ALL. T-cell, Pre-B-cell and B-cell. T-cell makes up around 20-25 per cent of all cases

  • More than 300 adults and children are diagnosed with ALL each year in Australia

  • Symptoms can include anaemia, slow wound healing, increased or unexplained bleeding or bruising and bone/joint pain

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