A Gold Coast mother, who waited until her profoundly disabled son turned "septic" and was close to death before seeking medical treatment for him, has been sentenced to probation.

The 38-year-old Nerang woman, who cannot be named, was found guilty by jury on a single charge of cruelty to a child under 16 during a trial at Southport District Court last month.

At a sentencing hearing in Brisbane District Court this morning, the court was told she failed to get medical help for her severely disabled seven-year-old son who had a "grapefruit-sized lump" in his neck caused by an abscess.

Crown prosecutor Peter Kelly said the boy's paternal grandfather first pointed out the lump to the child's mother on June 30, 2007.

But the mother waited a further nine days when the boy was bleeding from the eyes to raise the alarm, the court was told.

The boy, when finally taken by ambulance to Gold Coast Hospital, had gone into septic shock and his vital organs were shutting down.

"He was as close as one could be to death," he said.

"She should have known something was wrong. The hospital was only minutes up the road."

The court heard when the boy was eventually taken to hospital, medical staff were "flying blind" while treating him because the woman refused to provide any assistance and "stayed away."

The boy was airlifted to the Royal Brisbane Hospital for emergency treatment and may have died had he not received it, Mr Kelly said.

The boy suffers from Sturge-Weber syndrome, a genetic condition which causes calcification of the brain.

His condition means he suffers up to 12 epileptic seizures a day and cannot communicate or walk.

He also suffers from glaucoma, is fed by bottle and is incontinent, the court was told.

Defence barrister Levis Menolotto said his client had been a single mother since separating from the boy's father in 2002.

He said she had cared for her son, as well as six-year-old twin boys, on her own "with no support from anyone."

He said when the woman saw the lump, she made the decision to nurse the child herself.
"There had been such a lump in the past and it was massaged and managed," Mr Menolotto said.

"This is not a case of deliberate neglect over a long period of time."

All three children were removed from the mother's care in September 2007, two months after the incident.

She had not seen the boy, who now lives with his paternal grandparents in Hervey Bay, since he was taken away.

Mr Menolotto said she had once tried to make contact with the child but her phone calls to the grandparents were unanswered.

"He pines for his mother. The maternal bond is far from broken as far as the mother and child is concerned," he said.

He said his client's estranged partner who is the father of her children had testified she was "a good mother" and there was no doubt that she loved her children.

Judge Walter Tutt ordered the woman, who represented herself at last month's trial, to take part in parenting counselling as part of her probation order.

He recorded a conviction.