Mother cancels operation 'after school refused time off'

A mother-of-two claims she was forced to cancel a hysterectomy after her children's school threatened her with a £480 fine if they missed classes.

Single parent, Aleah Leigh, asked to take her children out of school for four days to stay with their grandmother while she had the operation.

But the school said no and refused to authorise Ms Leigh's request. 

Now Ms Leigh, 30, has criticised the school's attendance policy and claims she now has to have regular keyhole surgery because she missed her appointment.

She is even threatening to move Dominic Keaton-Woods, 10, and Olivia Leigh-James, five, out of Laurel Lane Primary School, in Hillingdon, London.

Ms Leigh said she finds it difficult to arrange babysitter for her children because she is a single mother 

Ms Leigh said she finds it difficult to arrange babysitter for her children because she is a single mother 

The mother said she used to enjoy taking Dominic and Olivia (pictured) to school but now says she records conversations between herself and staff

'What makes me laugh is that if the kids have one day off, it's classed as two and brings their attendance down to below 97 per cent [for that year],' the mother added

The mother said she used to enjoy taking Dominic and Olivia (left and right) to school but now says she records conversations between herself and staff  

The mother, from West Drayton, said: 'I'm really panicking about my health. I need to have the hysterectomy done otherwise I'll need repeated keyhole surgery which isn't solving the long-term issue.

'The headteacher said the kids may have to go into care because my mum couldn't guarantee their attendance while I was in hospital. She lives 200 miles away. 

'The system is punishing single mums more than anything. I don't want to be passing out again when I'm alone with the children. It's dangerous and constantly in the back of my mind.'

Aleah claims after being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome three years ago, she later found out she would need a hysterectomy., 

But the mother decided to cancel the procedure, planned for July 12, 2016 at Warwick Hospital.

Although she planned to reschedule her surgery, Ms Leigh was rushed into hospital on July 10, 2016 after a tumour burst, leaving her with internal bleeding.

Ms Leigh said she called a meeting with the school so she could explain her situation and request the time off before the beginning of the summer holidays 

Ms Leigh said she called a meeting with the school so she could explain her situation and request the time off before the beginning of the summer holidays 

The single mother-of-two was rushed to hospital after collapsing because one of her tumours had burst and she was suffering internal bleeding 

The single mother-of-two was rushed to hospital after collapsing because one of her tumours had burst and she was suffering internal bleeding 

Ms Leigh said: 'I found out I needed a hysterectomy so I approached the school to say the kids would need four days off to go to my mum's, who lives 200 miles away in Kineton.

'I called a meeting with the school to explain the situation and request that the children took four days off before the start of the summer holidays to stay with my mum.

'If their attendance gets below 97 per cent, the school threaten you with fines. Mrs Voisey [head teacher] said if I had the operation and the kids went to my mum's house, my mum wouldn't be able to keep up their attendance.

'She suggested that the kids would need to stay with someone they didn't know so they could attend school. I don't even let people babysit my children unless it's one particular friend.

A letter sent from the school noted that if the mother had taken her children out for the four days, Dominic's attendance rating would drop below 97 per cent

A letter sent from the school noted that if the mother had taken her children out for the four days, Dominic's attendance rating would drop below 97 per cent

'In the end, I had to cancel my operation which I had being waiting for for a long time. As a result I ended up collapsing as a tumour on my ovaries had burst and I was admitted into hospital with internal bleeding.

'I'm having the same problem again now and need to have my womb removed or it will keep happening.

WHAT IS PCOS?

Women with PCOS have an excess of androgens (male hormones). 

Their ovaries tend to be larger than average, and the ovaries' outer surface have an abnormally large number of small follicles (the sacs of fluid that grows around the egg under the influence of stimulating hormones from the brain).

These follicles remain immature, never growing to full development or ovulating to produce an egg capable of being fertilised. 

Researchers are still trying to determine the exact cause of PCOS, but it looks certain that there is a genetic link. 

Carrying the gene does not mean you will develop the full-blown condition, but is more likely to happen if there is a predisposition to diabetes and if the men in the family suffer early (that's before the age of 30) baldness. 

Women are also more at risk if they are overweight.

'The school

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