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

Ebola could hit 15 countries across Africa: Study of how disease has spread in past finds 70million people may be at risk of infection

The Ebola outbreak could hit 15 countries across Africa - putting the lives of 70 million people at risk, a groundbreaking study has found. In a ...

economic ties with China as two countries announce £2.4bn in new commercial deals

Britain is to forge closer economic ties with China after Chancellor George Osborne announced £2.4billion in new commercial deals with the People’s Republic. As the annual ...

Manchester Dogs Home: Public raise over £200,000 in hours after dogs home fire

Donations have poured in for Manchester Dogs’ Home after a fire ripped through the premises, killing more than 53 dogs last night. A JustGiving page set ...

Manchester Dogs' Home: 15-year-old questioned on suspicion of arson attack after blaze kills 40 dogs

A 15-year-old boy is being questioned on suspicion of arson after a blaze at Manchester Dogs' Home which killed more than 40 dogs. Firefighters were called ...

Oscar Pistorius braced for verdict in Reeva Steenkamp murder trial

The judge in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial has started delivering her long-awaited verdict in a case that has gripped the world - a decision ...

Airline passenger was accidentally given suitcase full of plastic EXPLOSIVES left at Sydney airport by the AFP a month ago... then took them home 

A woman got more than what she bargained for when she was given a replacement suitcase at Sydney airport after her luggage was damaged on ...

I'm convinced Oscar Pistorius is innocent, says journalist to have spent time with the time athlete during his murder trial

Mark Williams-Thomas believes athlete shot Reeva Steenkamp by mistake Reporter says he has spoken to Paralympian and his family in 'real detail' He says double-amputee is a ...

Royal baby hoax hospital staff wanted to discipline nurse Jacintha Saldanha

An Australian DJ has made a face-to-face apology to the family of a nurse who killed herself after she put her through to the Duchess of ... Full story

Trainee teacher hangs himself after split from the girlfriend he couldn’t live without

A trainee teacher hanged himself on New Year’s Eve after a split from his girlfriend, an inquest heard today. Keiran Walsh, 22, split from his partner ... Full story

White Dee, Benefits Street's most infamous and shameless resident

Late on a dark and rainy night, it is all go-go-go down at White Dee’s house in Birmingham. There is a pan of fish stew ... Full story

DJ Chris Moyles claimed to be a second-hand CAR DEALER to save £1 million in celebrity tax avoidance scheme

DJ Chris Moyles claimed to be a second-hand car dealer while presenting Radio 1’s Breakfast Show in a bid to save up to £1million in ... 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

Australian pilot killed in Papua New Guinea plane crash alongside female co-pilot and passenger

The aircraft came down about 10km from Goldie, near Port Moresby The Hevilift twin otter aircraft was carrying nine people   The two pilots, one Australian man and ...

Hunt is on for British couple missing after their yacht was overturned when Hurricane Odile hit Mexico last week 

Category three hurricane hit popular Baja California Peninsula last Sunday Buildings destroyed, power and water supplies damaged in 125mph winds  Paul Whitehouse and Simone Wood missing since their yacht ...

Seven British jihadis photographed in terror picture holding AK47 are mocked for not showing their faces 

Men pictured in combat gear, clutching guns with faces completely hidden UK jihadi uploaded the photo with words: 'A few of the British brothers' Image was posted ...

Prime Suspect in hunt for missing Alice Gross sent money to ex-partner in Latvia after he disappeared

Arnis Zalkalns, 41, is prime suspect in disappearance of Alice Gross He was jailed for seven years for murdering his wife in Latvia in 1998 But was ...

Family living in fear after invasion of aggressive monster spiders that attack with venomous bite 

Liam Forrester, 24, and Kirsty Garland, 27, may be forced from their homeTheir Bristol house has been plagued by giant, venomous hobo spidersMr Forrester has been ...

British Imams take to YouTube to warn Isis terrorists that kidnap and threatened murder of British taxi driver Alan Henning is against Sharia Law 

Muslim scholars call for release of kidnapped Alan Henning in YouTube pleaDescribe threats to murder taxi driver as 'totally prohibited' under Sharia lawThe 47-year-old appeared ...

So much for a dry weekend! Brits trapped in cars and underground after more flash flooding overnight ... but d forecasters STILL say it will clear up

Drivers in Essex had to be rescued from their cars as sudden torrential downpour flooded area last night Three men and a woman were trapped in ...

George the cockatoo found safe and sound after he was birdnapped from a Sydney pub that he's called home for almost 10 years

George the cockatoo was taken away by a brazen thief at a Sydney hotelThe brazen thief dropped by the pub and was 'friending' him ...

Gang who stole £200,000 Audis to strip for parts jailed after their sophisticated car cutting den was raided by police

Akhtar Zamir, Khuram Razaq and Nakash Javaid took four cars in five daysMechanics Thomas Winkett and Wayne Williams dismantled them for partsThey took two Audi ...

Glasgow 'riots': Footage shows Yes and No voters in running street battles in disorder after pro-Union rally

Footage has emerged of violent scenes in Glasgow as police struggled to contain a pro-Union rally that broke down into disorder in the city centre ...