PreviousNext

The rash that turned out to be fatal: Little boy died from Henoch-Schonlein purpura

By // News | The rash that turned out to be fatal: Little boy died from Henoch-Schonlein purpura
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
  • Sam Leask developed swollen joints and red marks on his legs
  • Was diagnosed with the auto-immune disease Henoch-Schonlein purpura
  • Little boy had genetic disposition that made his condition fatal
  • 'He was quite simply a lovely boy,' said his father

By Anna Hodgekiss

PUBLISHED: 08:59 EST, 2 November 2012 | UPDATED: 11:42 EST, 2 November 2012

A healthy schoolboy who had ‘never been ill in his life’ died just weeks after a family camping holiday - during which he developed a rash on his leg.

Nine-year-old Sam Leask was rushed to hospital with swollen joints and red marks on his legs and was diagnosed with the auto-immune disease Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP).

Soon after his kidneys failed and surgeons battled to save him. Despite undergoing a five-hour operation to remove his badly damaged colon, he died just weeks later.

Nine-year-old Sam Leask (pictured with sister Izzy) was perfectly healthy until he suffered a fatal reaction to a rash on his leg

Nine-year-old Sam Leask (pictured with sister Izzy) was perfectly healthy until he suffered a fatal reaction to a rash on his leg

His mother Katharine, 42, said: 'Sam had never been ill in his life. I had never heard of the disease before he was diagnosed.

'Doctors said it normally goes away in time but because Sam has a certain genetic disposition, there were complications and he died.

'It feels like there is a hole, a void, that will never be filled. He was an adventurous and lovely boy and he had so much going for him.'

Sam was camping with his family north of Ullswater in the Lake District in July when he developed a rash on his legs and found it too painful to stand up.

He was taken by ambulance to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle where he was diagnosed with HSP, a condition that usually clears in time.

While in Yorkhill Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Sam was visited by Olympic silver medallists David Smith (left) and Luke Patience (right)

While in Yorkhill Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Sam was visited by Olympic silver medallists David Smith (left) and Luke Patience (right)

After one night in hospital Sam was given permission to return home to the village of Kirkmahoe, Dumfries and Galloway, with Katharine, father Julian, 43, and seven-year-old sister Izzy.

But 12 days later Sam’s condition worsened and he hospitalised, when his kidneys failed. He died on October 13.

HSP is a form of blood vessel inflammation and affects small blood vessels in the skin and kidneys, commonly characterised by a purple rash, and affects one in 10,000 people, usually aged between two and 10 - in a minority of cases complications lead to organ failure.

An example of HSP, which is a form of blood vessel inflammation. It affects small blood vessels in the skin and kidneys and is characterised by a purple rash

An example of HSP, which is a form of blood vessel inflammation. It affects small blood vessels in the skin and kidneys and is characterised by a purple rash

His devastated mother said: 'As we knew that nothing more could be one following surgery we did have a few precious days to make Sam feel so very loved.

'We will forever be indebted to the staff of initially Dumfries Royal Infirmary and subsequently Yorkhill Children’s Hospital, Glasgow, for their tireless efforts in caring for Sam.

'His dignity and peace were ensured until the end and the emotional care and support continues on for us as a family.'

Sam’s father Julian added: 'Sam was an adventurous little boy and when he went on holiday, we were more worried about the fact the campsite was near a main road.

He loved music and played the double bass. He loved doing impressions and playing football and rugby.

He was lots of fun and very bright. We could take him anywhere and he’d get on with everyone; there was nothing he loved more than people.

'He was quite simply a lovely boy.'

Sam's parents have set up the Sam Leask Memorial Playground Fund to raise money to improve a children’s area in the Scottish village of Kirkton, near where they lived.  

For more information: Henoch Schonlein Purpura Support Group on 01733 204368 (10am-2pm) or e-mail: hsphelp@inbox.com

http://localgiving.com/charity/samleask

HENOCH-SCHONLEIN PURPURA

HSP is a form of blood vessel inflammation and affects small blood vessels in the skin and kidneys, commonly characterised by a purple rash.

It affects one in 10,000 people, usually aged between two and 10 - in a minority of cases complications lead to organ failure.

It’s not known exactly what causes it, but it often seems to follow on from a viral infection, such as a cold or respiratory tract infection, and is more common in the winter months. 

HSP is not an inherited disease and is not ‘catching’ so it cannot be passed on from person to person.

There are usually three key symptoms. The first is a characteristic rash of raised red/purple spots that do not disappear when you press on them. It can be very alarming as it’s similar to the type of rash you see with meningococcal septicaemia. The rash is caused by tiny blood vessels (capillaries) near the surface of the skin becoming inflamed and damaged, and leaking blood into the skin.

An HSP rash is generally found in the lower part of the body – around the buttocks and lower legs. It can also appear on the body, face and hands. Once the rash has fully appeared it doesn’t come and go – it tends to stay for days or even weeks.

The second symptom is often abdominal pain, often in the form of stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting. Many children also experience joint pains and blood may appear in the urine.

Unfortunately only the symptoms can be treated. But the condition usually settles down within around six weeks and the vast majority of people make a full recovery with no long-term effects.

The most serious possible consequence of HSP is kidney damage. For this reason, regular urine tests to monitor kidney function are important, even once someone has recovered. 

Source: Great Ormond Street Hospital

Tagged : No tags for this article

Headlines Newsview all

Daughter meets father for the first time after tracking him down but is then raped by him

A daughter who met her dad for the first time after tracking him down was then raped by him, a court heard. The woman, from Melbourne, ... Full story

Cash-strapped ISIS fighters ditch terror group after being left furious over pay cuts

Islamic State monsters are ditching the evil terror group after being forced to take yet another pay cut, a terror expert has claimed. The ISIS fighters ... Full story

Beyonce slays the Super Bowl! Leather-clad Queen Bey brings new song Formation to the Super Bowl in super slick performance with Coldplay and Bruno Mars

She performed 'Black Lives Matter rallying cry' during half-time  The supporting performers formed an 'X' on the field - thought to reference black rights campaigner Malcolm ... Full story

Battle between Classic FM and BBC Radio 3 continues

BBC Radio 3 accused rival station of being 'put together by a computer' Boss Alan Davey previously denied claim station is turning into Classic FM In a ...

Megyn Kelly jokes she wants to tell Donald Trump: 'Apology Accepted' at GOP

Kelly joked that her first comment to Trump at the next GOP debate would be: 'Apology accepted' She said that Fox didn't have a feud with ...

Peyton Manning’s Super Bowl 2016 dream comes true in Broncos victory over Panthers

Peyton Manning's Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 with a 24-10 victory over Cam Newton's Carolina Panthers Star quarterback is expected to retire, but was coy ...

David Wichs killed in New York crane collapse is remembered as an 'angel' at funeral

David Wichs, 38, who was crushed to death after a crane toppled over in high winds, was eulogized as generous  His devastated widow Rebecca Guttman-Wichs said ...

David Cameron plans to free prisoners during the week

Many inmates would be allowed out of jail during the week under new plans The radical scheme, to be revealed by David Cameron, for prisoners near ...

Where fund managers are looking for bargains shares in the storm

Fund and trust managers reveal where they are looking for cheaper shares Fidelity's Alex Wright says Shell is an attractive prospect Lowland investment trust managers buy into ...

Beyonce gets political at Super Bowl 50 with Black Lives Matter-themed performance

Beyonce delivered her message during performance of new single Formation at halftime during Super Bowl 50 Her backing dancers appeared dressed as Black Panthers activists with all-black outfits ...

Hillary Clinton reminds New Hampshire Democrats of their history: 'You lifted me up and gave me back my voice' she said of her 2008 Granite State win

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders spoke at a giant fundraiser tonight for New Hampshire Democrats  Clinton started off her speech reminding the crowd of how the ... Full story

Comment on: The rash that turned out to be fatal: Little boy died from Henoch-Schonlein purpura

Rate this article

0

Breaking News

Citizens’ Advice say care home fees 'rise by £2,000 with a week's notice'

Thousands of pensioners only get week's notice before care fees soar Annual care home fees increased by an average of £900 across England Fees in East of ...

Peyton Manning mentions Budweiser twice in post-Super Bowl 50 game interviews

Peyton Manning mentioned Budweiser twice in post-Super Bowl interviews He said he was going to 'drink a lot of Budweiser tonight' two times But the beer makers ...

Sydney to enjoy a 'perfect' week of weather as Perth swelters through 42C heatwave

Sydney set to enjoy hot and sunny conditions with highs of 32C on Sunday Perth will continue to swelter through heatwave with consecutive 42C days Extreme fire ...

David Cameron claims quitting Europe will lead to Jungle camps in Kent

Prime Minister is to warn migrant camps could arrive if Britain leaves EU In speech he will say camps like the Jungle in Calais could arrive ...

Twitter users make fun of Super Bowl 50 2016 ad about constipation

Twitter users poked fun at the Super Bowl 50 ad about constipation  The opioid-induced constipation ad featured a man envious of other people who weren't constipated   Millions ...

Google, Amazon and Facebook may be forced to reveal revenue and taxes

Companies may be forced to publish revenue and taxes under a new law Draft law by EU would see Google, Facebook and Amazon to reveal figures European ...

Deakin University scientist finds shark nets do NOTHING to prevent attacks

No link between no. of sharks in the water and no. of attacks, study says  Shark nets only reduce the amount of sharks in a patch ...

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton storms out of Super Bowl press conference

Cam Newton's Panthers were backed as favorites to win the Super Bowl But Broncos took the lead in the first minutes and never gave it up Newton, ...

Proud to be named the UK's stingiest woman: Visitors must bring their own teabags and heating's for softies - JANE FRYER meets the penny-pincher 

Frugal Ilona Richards, 66,  from Scunthorpe, has a list of money-saving tips Pensioner buys food only at night when stores drop their prices on items She also ...

Super Bowl 2016 viewers slam Peter Carstairs's Doritos ad on Twitter

Hundreds of viewers have slammed Doritos Super Bowl 'Ultrasound' advertIt shows woman going into early labour because unborn child wants crisp Aussie filmmaker Peter Carstairs won ...