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

Man arrested as baby girl and woman found dead

A man has been arrested on suspicious of murder after a woman and a baby were found dead at a home in Hackney. A 45-year old ...

Cheating map of UK reveals Maidenhead to be Britain's most adulterous town

One of the richest towns in Britain also has the highest number of people having extramarital affairs, according to new research. Wealthy Maidenhead tops a new ... 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

Christian preacher wins £13,000 in compensation after being held '15 hours without food or water'

A Christian preacher who was held by police for 15 hours without water or food has won £13,000 in compensation for wrongful imprisonment. John Craven was ...

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

Kym Marsh fling with personal trainer, Matt Baker

Her marriage to Jamie Lomas ended in October and now Kym Marsh has sparked romance rumours after spending Valentine's weekend in Paris with her personal ... Full story

Nicole Scherzinger shows off a bit too much

NICOLE Scherzinger and fellow leading ladies at this year's Brits spent hours getting ready for the big night.But once the after-parties kicked in, their extensive ... Full story

Mother arrested after11-month-old daughter mauled to death by dog

A mother has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after her “beautiful and adorable” 11-month-old daughter was mauled to death by a dog.Ava Jayne Marie ... Full story

London Tube strike cancelled after last minute talks

A planned 48-hour strike by London Underground workers in a row over ticket office closures has been called off after a last-minute deal was agreed.Members ... Full story

First woman bishop in the Church of England could be appointed ‘by Christmas’

The first woman bishop in the Church of England could be appointed before the end of this year, the Church’s most senior official has disclosed.William ... 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

Romanian man lost half his SKULL when he smashed his head on concrete at work

Elvis Romeo Lingurar's skull was crushed at a demolition siteThe 24-year-old construction worker had half removed by doctorRomanian has spent one year without half a ...

Public Enemy rapper Flavor Flav admits chasing girlfriend's son with a knife and threatening to kill him

Attack took place at Flavor Flav's Las Vegas home in October 2012 Teenage boy testified that Flav chased him with a kitchen knifeSaid rapper threatened ...

Top anti-terror chief to take charge of probe into Birmingham schools in 'Trojan Horse' plot

Peter Clarke, 58, ran Scotland Yard's national counter-terrorism unitNow appointed Education Commissioner by the Department for EducationDfE wants him to conduct thorough investigation into 'Trojan ...

The Beano comic first edition to fetch at least £4,000 at auction

Only 25 copies of The Beano's first edition are still in existenceThis edition has a starting price of £3,499 and could be sold for much ...

Bogus roofer from family of rogue traders facing prison for ripping off elderly customer three years after identical scam

Danny Sherwood, 30, has been found guilty of seven counts of fraudOvercharged 73-year-old £2,150 for £630 work he carried out to her houseIn 2011 overcharged ...

Will the Edinburgh Zoo pandas finally have a cub? Tian Tian artificially inseminated after failing to mate naturally with Yang Guang again

Zoo bosses were hopeful that Tian Tian would mate with male Yang GuangThey intervened when the panda's hormone levels started to drop quicklyHopes of pregnancy ...

Chinese villagers take part in fish-catching competition with man using his mouth

By Damien Gayle Published: 11:44 GMT, 15 April 2014 ...

Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic announce stellar tie-in with Land Rover

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic announces British luxury SUV firm Land Rover provide all transport within Spaceport America, in New MexicoThe prestigious partnership comes as ...

Sex pest who stalked part-time barmaid bombarding her with 'disturbing' messages picked on the wrong woman... because she is also a CID detective

David Miasik, 45, was 'obsessed' with part-time barmaid Claire EdwardsHe sent her messages saying he loved her and begging her to speak to himBut he ...