Mom 'Lies' By Letting Son Ring Bell Signaling His Treatment Was Successful — 'You Say What You Have To Say To Protect Your Child'

Doctors were surprised at her choice to keep the bad news from her son but she's asking, "what was I supposed to say?"

A mother decided to have her child ring the hospital bell TikTok

When a cancer patient rings a bell at a hospital, it indicates they have completed their treatment. It means they can finally go home without worrying about returning for more chemotherapy. But what happens if a patient can’t beat the disease despite their hardest efforts?

It can be especially challenging to figure out how to approach the topic when it involves a child. Parents want to make sure their children are happy, no matter how many days they have left. One mother’s son couldn’t beat his battle, but she didn’t want his final days to be filled with sadness.


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She 'lied' by letting him ring the bell that was supposed to signal his treatment was successful.

Gezsa, a Lebanese mother residing in Australia, posted to the video-sharing app TikTok a video of her son, who she lost in January 2022. She called it “one of the worst days of my life” when he rang the hospital bell.

He struggled to overcome his July 2021 Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis, but she didn’t want him going home feeling defeated.



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“Telling him that his treatment went well and he’s finally finished and he gets to ring the bell because [he’s] done,” she wrote in text on top of the video. “But that was far from the truth.”

She clarified in the caption that her son had been through multiple surgeries. On top of that, doctors advised her to tell him the truth, but she refused. 

“What was I supposed to tell him that the treatment he had done that caused him to have multiple surgeries didn’t work and he has to go home until he passes?” she asked. “You say what you have to say to protect your child.”

She accomplished her goal since his bright smile can be seen in the video as he rings the bell. She wears a smile too but starts to become overwhelmed with tears, but her son doesn’t see, with his back to her in a wheelchair.


However, this isn’t the first child that Gesza has lost. She has lost two other children and recently launched a GoFundMe for people to chip in to support her family.

People in the comments supported her decision not to tell her son the truth.

“You told him his fight was over... it was. He deserved to ring that bell. You did the right thing,” one person commented.

“He has finished his treatment just like all the others. He deserves to ring that bell with pride even if he didn’t win this battle,” another added.

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Some people suggested that he knew he hadn’t won his battle.

One woman lost her child to cancer and explained that children are more intelligent than we often give them credit for.

“Trust me as a mom of a cancer angel he knows what is happening. His goal is going home with you,” she wrote.

So, how should parents approach this daunting topic? The Cancer Council Victoria, an Australian non-profit organization fighting against cancer, recommends being “honest and truthful” with your child if their prognosis reaches an advanced stage. However, it isn’t easy to know how to approach a situation like this, and even professional recommendations aren’t the best answer for all parents. 


Many people in the comments suggested that her choice was up to her and it was the right decision for herself and her son.

“Unless you[’re] a cancer parent, you don’t get to judge anyone in her shoes. It[‘]s the scariest, most unimaginable pain and you just don’t understand,” they wrote.

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Ethan Cotler is a writer living in Boston. His writing covers entertainment, news and human interest stories.