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

Amanda Holden at the centre of Twitter backlash as she sends daughter to school dressed as Pretty Woman prostitute for fancy dress day

A parenting group has slammed TV star Amanda Holden for posting a picture of her nine-year-old daughter 'dressed as a prostitute' online.The Britain's Got Talent ... Full story

Grandmother filmed confronting militants and branding them 'devils' before quoting verses in the Koran that forbid slaughter

An incredible video has emerged showing the moment an elderly woman bravely confronted two Islamic State militants, telling them their terror group is cursed and ... Full story

Jobseeker shocked to be sent rudest rejection email ever calling him an 'old, aesthetically challenged professional pr*** with no teeth'

A jobseeker was shocked after he was branded as 'irritating', 'rude' and 'obnoxious' in a cutting email accidentally sent to him by a prospective employer.James ... Full story

Youngsters turning their backs on binge drinking with 40% surge in teetotal teens and students

Teenagers and young adults are turning their backs on binge drinking, dramatic new figures have revealed.The proportion of teetotal 16-to-24 year olds has rocketed by ... Full story

Talented 18-year-old pianist who had won a place at Cambridge University was killed by a train after suffering a lapse into deep depression

A gifted 18-year-old pupil who had won a place at Cambridge University was killed by a train after suffering a lapse into 'deep depression', his ... Full story

Former PE teacher, 91, becomes oldest person ever sent to prison for the first time after being found guilty of string of sex attacks on boys

A 91-year-old former teacher has become the oldest person to be sent to prison for the first time after he was jailed for carrying out ... Full story

Beauty therapist who posted dozens of weight loss selfies showing off her new slim figure on Facebook is reported for encouraging nudity

A beauty therapist who posted dozens of 'selfie' pictures of her new slimline figure on Facebook said she was shocked and upset after being reported ... Full story

Parents slam former Ofsted boss Zenna Atkins who is now chair of school governors over x-rated messages she posted on public Facebook page

Parents have slammed a former Ofsted chief who is now chairman of a school's governing board over x-rated messages she posted on Facebook.Zenna Atkins, who ... Full story

Taxpayers forked out £2,300 a month for council boss on £195,000 a year salary to drive luxury Porsche

Taxpayers paid out more than £2,300 a month for a council chief executive on a £195,000 a year salary to drive around in a luxury ... Full story

30 signs YOUR relationship has hit the comfort zone (and will go the distance)

Do you go au natural around your partner, chat to them while naked and do their laundry? You've officially hit the comfort zone.New research reveals ... Full story

Number of Muslim children in England and Wales doubles in a decade with one in 12 school pupils now brought up in Islamic home

The number of Muslim children in England and Wales has doubled in a decade, according to the most detailed study of its kind.An analysis of ... 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

Sussex stabbing: Man killed by motorist following car crash in West Sussex

A murder investigation has been launched after a motorist was stabbed to death following a car crash. A manhunt is now underway for the knifeman, who ...

Summer-born children more likely to be labelled special needs, minister claims

Children born in the summer are being incorrectly labelled as special needs because they are failing to learn as quickly as their slightly older classmates, ...

The Open 2015 leaderboard: Live scores from St Andrews, including Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Paul Lawrie

The 144th Open Championship resumes on day two at St Andrews with all eyes on Dustin Johnson who leads the way on -7 after a ...

Syria airstrikes: UK military pilots 'have taken part in action against Isis'

British pilots who are embedded within US and Canada-led coalition forces have taken part in airstrikes over Syria. The BBC reports that UK personnel have already ...

Syria airstrikes: British pilots 'have taken part in military action against Isis'

British pilots who are embedded within US and Canada-led coalition forces have taken part in airstrikes over Syria. The BBC reports that UK personnel have already ...

Debenhams partnership in peril as Mike Ashley 'does a Ratner'

Mike Ashley has launched a bizarre attack on Debenhams, calling the business “crap” even though he presides over a partnership between the department store group ...

Bank of England tells Barclays deputy chairman Sir Mike Rake to stay as 'counterweight' to interim boss John McFarlane

The Bank of England has demanded that Barclays deputy chairman Sir Mike Rake delay his planned departure amid concerns that temporary boss John McFarlane will ...

Non-food chief quits unexpectedly at Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer is in turmoil as the highly respected chief of its struggling non-food division unexpectedly quit. John Dixon had been tipped for the top ...

Openreach could go its own way, Ofcom tells BT

BT could be forced to break itself up and spin off the business that sells wholesale network services to its competitors, the telecoms regulator has ...

In and out and round the houses: a very British club awaits its latest incarnation

Cambridge House in Piccadilly, the former home of the “In and Out Club”, is set to host another watering hole after an application was lodged ...