A one-year-old baby from Croydon has overcome leukaemia after receiving a “life-shattering” diagnosis when he had lumps on his head and swollen glands.

Zak Mosser, one, was born in 2022 to parents Tammy Chiraka, 25 and Mitchell Mosser, 23.

Zak is described by his parents as a “chilled-out new-born” who would sleep through nights from three-months-old.

Your Local Guardian: Baby Zak with dad MitchBaby Zak with dad Mitch (Image: Zak Mosser,)

His parents began to notice lumps on his head and swollen glands that led them to seek advice from their local GP.

Your Local Guardian: The lumps that were found on Zak's headThe lumps that were found on Zak's head (Image: Tammy Chiraka)

After two visits to the GP, his symptoms continued to get worse and baby Zak was eventually taken to the emergency unit at George’s Hospital in Croydon for further investigation.

Zak underwent CT scans and blood tests at the hospital's Blue Sky Centre and two days later the parents received the “shattering” news that Zak had leukaemia.

Your Local Guardian: Baby Zak in hospital Baby Zak in hospital (Image: Zak Mosser,)

Tammy said: “Our hearts completely shattered.

"Our world was completely flipped upside down, and we had no idea how we were going to cope with this news.”

Zak was later transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London to receive a four-week course of chemotherapy to fight the cancer.

Your Local Guardian: Tammy ChirakaTammy Chiraka (Image: Tammy Chiraka)

He continued to receive care at St George’s for daily anti-fungal medications to protect his lungs whilst undergoing cancer treatment.

Two months ago, the family received the happy news that Zak, following the treatment, was in remission.

Tammy explained: “It has honestly been a rollercoaster for us all but our family is very strong and we’re all fighters which I am extremely proud of.

“Zak is a very happy baby, especially now that he’s better.

“He does not stop talking, shouting, playing and being active.”

Your Local Guardian: Baby Zak with mum Tammy and dad MitchBaby Zak with mum Tammy and dad Mitch (Image: Zak Mosser,)

Dr Adil Hussain, who was involved in Zak’s initial care at St George’s, said: “We knew something wasn’t right when Zak came into our emergency department, but I’m pleased that we were able to help Zak receive a swift diagnosis so that he was able to start treatment quickly.

“Hearing that Zak is doing so well is such wonderful news, and I hope he continues to reach the milestones that every parent looks forward to.”

Zak is currently receiving a further round of chemotherapy and oral chemotherapy, as well as medications given through a central line, enabling the one-year-old to be at home with his family.

Tammy added: “I feel safe and secure when Zak gets treatment at St George’s.

“The staff are extremely caring and compassionate.

“This is more than just a job to them, you can tell they genuinely care about their patients and go above and beyond. Zak’s symptoms were also extremely rare, but the staff at St George’s emergency department recognised there was something wrong.”

In 2022, St George’s treated over 170 young patients living with cancer, however an upcoming consultation by NHS could change the future of the services St George’s provide for young patients.

The NHS consultation into where children’s cancer services should be located could mean St George’s could potentially lose the service it has jointly run with the Royal Marsden Hospital for over 25 years.

If these services are kept at St George’s, a new “state-of-the-art” children’s hospital would be built, meaning the hospital would be able to deliver crucial cancer care to patients like Zak.

Tammy said: “When we were at St George’s we felt how loving the nurses were.

“It would be a shame if cancer care for children gets moved elsewhere.

“St George’s being our local hospital has been a pleasure, and I cannot thank them enough for taking care of us.

"It is clear that the nurses and doctors sincerely care about their patients.

“I want to thank them for such a wonderful experience.”

Dr Richard Jennings, Group Chief Medical Officer for St George’s, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Group, said: “It’s fantastic to hear how well Zak is doing – testament to our outstanding teams, but also the love and support from his family.

“I’m very proud of everyone involved in Zak’s care, and on behalf of everyone at St George’s would like to wish him and his family all the best for the future.”