Baby's 'massive tumour' not cancer

23:53, Mar 25 2014
Adelaide Ketel
BABY'S BATTLE: Adelaide Ketel, 13 months old, is very sick in Christchurch Hospital.

A Nelson family who rushed to Christchurch when a "massive tumour" was found in their baby girl have been told it is not cancerous.

Adelaide Ketel, who is 13 months old, was diagnosed with a tumorous mass in her chest last week after falling ill in January.

The family was prepared for the worst, but have heard from oncologists the growth is not cancerous.

However, further investigation will reveal the extent of surgery required, as it is possible the growth is attached to Adelaide's heart, her mother Laurel Ketel said.

She and her husband Andrew have just bought Richmond business Queen St Fruit and Vege and put out a plea via the Nelson Mail yesterday for help to run the business while they are in Christchurch.

The response was overwhelming, from all over the country, and they are confident they have found the right person to employ.


Adelaide was born on Valentine's Day last year, and fell sick in January this year with a cough and fever. Despite the best efforts by doctors, she did not show signs of getting better.

She was flown to Christchurch Hospital by air ambulance last Thursday.

A CT scan and X-rays revealed a shadow on one of her lungs.

Laurel Ketel said it was unnerving being called back to the hospital late yesterday after Monday's biopsy. "The oncologist walked in and straightaway said, 'it's not cancer'.

"They had told us they were certain it was because they'd not seen a tumour like it.

"It's benign, but we're still waiting for the results of the rest of the biopsy, and there's a chance that the growth may be attached to Adelaide's heart."

Doctors said there was a chance Adelaide may have been born with the growth. "Things are still a bit dire, but there's every chance of beating this," she said.

"They've told us there's still a long road ahead, but it's helped us a lot just knowing there are so many people out there thinking about us. It's been amazing."

The Nelson Mail