Three children, two boys aged 9 and 6 and a 12-year-old girl, had diffuse abdominal complaints, diarrhoea and a (sub)febrile temperature for several days. On admission, they were found to have a perforated inflamed appendix and peritonitis. Following asystole, intra-abdominal abscesses and an enterocutaneous fistula, the oldest boy showed good recovery after a hospital stay of two months; the girl recovered after one month in hospital following a psoas muscle abscess and two episodes of constrictive pericarditis with threatened tamponade. The younger boy was dead on arrival at the hospital. Appendicitis is not always easy to diagnose. An atypical presentation, very often with diarrhoea, can result in diagnostic delay. Early surgical consultation is mandatory in a child with progressive abdominal pain.