Boy Dies of Cancer After Begging Parents to Take Him to a Hospital

Coroner: Boy's cancer could have been cured had parents taken him to hospital.

ByABC News
March 13, 2009, 4:17 PM

March 16, 2009 — -- An 8-year-old Ohio boy's pleas to get him to a doctor were ignored by his parents just days before he died of cancer, investigators tell

"Willie Robinson, in the last couple of days of his life, asked his parents to take him to a hospital and would say things like 'mommy, it hurts,'" said Ohio's Cuyahoga County prosecutor Bill Mason.

"They didn't take him," said Mason, citing police reports that are not public record in the state of Ohio until after an investigation is complete.

Willie died after collapsing at his parents' home in Cleveland March 22, 2008.

His parents, William Robinson and Monica Hussing, were indicted March 11 on charges of involuntary manslaughter, child endangering and felonious assault, according to court documents.

Attorney Margaret Isquick, who is representing the couple, did not return repeated calls made by for comment.

Cuyahoga County coroner Frank Miller said that he ruled the death a homicide because it was so clear to him that the child had received no medical care before his death, despite obvious signs he was in grave condition.

Miller said Willie had been suffering from Hodgkin's lymphoma, one of the most treatable forms of cancer. The coroner said the cancer may have been curable had the child's parents sought the appropriate medical care.

"We were the first to diagnose him," said Miller. "This boy had not received any medical attention before he got to us."

"He had swelling in his neck and pneumonia when he died," said Miller. "He looked gaunt and pale and certainly would have appeared visibly ill to the average person."

Sheila Slawinski, the boy's aunt, said that she suspected something wasn't right with her nephew in the year before his death.

According to Slawinski, Willie first starting shows signs of illness in April 2007, when she said he had a noticeable lump on his neck.

"We were trying to get my sister to take him to the hospital because of the lump and he was just staying in his room and complaining," Slawinski told ABC News.