woman crying with her head in her hands
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
February 3, 2024 ·  3 min read

Mum’s devastation as son, 13, dies suddenly after shock diagnosis

Just a few months ago, Lauren Sice was planning summer adventures with her 13-year-old son George. Now, she is planning his funeral. Devastated, she explained how he came to be diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoma. She wants to share her son’s story so people are aware that these things can happen and to remain vigilant.

The Tragic Story Of This Boy Diagnosed With T-Cell Lymphoma

Lauren’s son George became sick with swollen glands. His doctors thought he was suffering from glandular fever and prescribed him antibiotics. The antibiotics didn’t work, however, and his glands continued to swell. He also had developed a full-body rash. The doctors sent him to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, and on June 3, the oncologists diagnosed him with a type of Leukemia called T-Cell Lymphoma. (1)

At first, the doctors thought that they could treat his condition. He began what was to be four weeks of chemotherapy. Though at first, it seemed to be going well, he soon developed a cough, bleeds on his eyes, and fluid on several organs. His oncologist then discovered a large tumor on his neck that previously was covered by swollen lymph nodes.

His Final Days

The medical team decided that it was best to put him in a medically-induced coma to allow his body to rest better. It was supposed to last only for a few days or weeks, however, young George never woke up. They continued to try chemo treatments while he was in the coma but to no avail. He passed away on July 3, just one week before his 14th birthday.

“A couple of months ago I was planning summer holidays and now he’s not here,” said his mom Lauren. “It’s kind of a blur. It’s gone from feeling like I have loads of time with him by going and sitting with him in the chapel of rest to I can’t believe the funeral is here.”

She wants to tell her son’s story so that people are aware that these things can happen and to live your life the way her son did. She describes him as someone who was confident, liked what he liked, and didn’t change who he was or what he enjoyed for anyone else’s opinions but his own.

T-Cell Lymphoma

T-cell lymphomas are a type of leukemia that can develop in lymphoid tissues such as the lymph nodes and spleen, or outside of lymphoid tissues in the gastrointestinal tract, liver, nasal cavity, skin, and other places. They can be slow-growing or aggressive, as in young George’s case. (2)

There are different types of T-cell lymphomas, all of which affect different organs of the body. Some are more aggressive than others. In forms most commonly seen in teenagers, boys are more likely to develop them than girls. The various forms of T-Cell Lymphoma include (3):

  • T-lymphoblastic lymphoma/leukemia
  • Peripheral T-cell lymphomas
    • Cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (mycosis fungoides, Sezary syndrome, and others)
      • This is lymphoma of the skin
    • Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma
      • Caused by a virus called HTLV-1 and is more common in Japan, the Caribbean, and parts of Africa
    • Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma
      • Involves the lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen, and liver
    • Extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type
      • Usually involves the the nose and upper throat, but it can also invade the skin, digestive tract, and other organs
    • Enteropathy-associated intestinal T-cell lymphoma (EATL)
      • Develops in the lining of most often the small intestine, however, it can occur in the colon as well.
    • Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL)
      • There are different types of this lymphoma: Skin, lymph nodes and other organs, as well as a rare form that can develop in people who have breast implants

A Tragic Tale

This cancer can have a variety of symptoms, depending on which version you develop. Sometimes the symptoms will be noticeable, however, in aggressive cases, the tumors grow so quickly that you barely have time to react. If you are at all concerned that something may be amiss with your health, talk to your doctor and advocate for yourself. Our hearts go out to Lauren and the rest of her family and anyone else who has suffered the sudden loss of a loved one in this way.


  1. “We were planning summer holidays… and now he’s not here”: Mum’s devastation as son, 13, dies suddenly after shock cancer diagnosis – doctors initially thought it was just glandular fever.” Manchster Evening News. Paige Oldfield. July 22, 2021.
  2. T-Cell Lymphoma.” Lymphoma
  3. Types of T-cell Lymphoma.” Cancer