Leukemia disguised as strep throat kills 10-year-old girl in days

A heartbroken family in Memphis is mourning the loss of a 10-year-old girl, who was diagnosed with strep throat, but died just days later from undiagnosed leukemia. Doctors reportedly told the family the girl may have had the disease since birth.

N'Kheyma King was treated for strep throat on March 13 after complaining about stomach pains a few days earlier, according to the King family's GoFundMe page.

Hours after the strep throat diagnosis and still in severe pain, the girl was taken back to the hospital.

“We were told she had an elevated white blood cell count and was diagnosed with leukemia … The doctor explained that she had swelling in the brain and required life-saving brain surgery,” the family said.

N’Kheyma survived the surgery, started chemotherapy and seemed to show signs of improvement, but just a three days later, the little girl was gone.

The family said they have many unanswered questions, but are glad the girl did not undergo a prolonged illness.

"God protected N'Kheyma throughout this journey, and beyond the stomach ache, she never suffered," they said on GoFundMe.

The family hopes to raise enough money to cover the girl’s medical expenses and funeral costs.

They’ve raised just over $5,000 of their $6,000 goal.

Empty hospital bed

Credit: Dana Neely

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Credit: Dana Neely