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Chicken Pox : Strangers are scared to touch my baby

2.4 from 9 votes
Thursday, April 07, 2016

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A baby boy is covered with angry red lumps due to a rare medical condition - and they even appear on his tongue and his eyeballs.The rash - which looks like chicken pox - is so severe strangers are scared to touch Oscar because they think he’s contagious. Pictured with mother Steph Webster, 26

Oscar Langham's has a rash that looks like chicken pox all over his tiny body, which is getting worse the older he gets. 

It is so severe strangers are scared to touch him because they think he might be contagious.

He was diagnosed with Langerhans' cell histiocytosis, a cancer-like disease of the immune cells, six months ago.

This is where the body accumulates too many immature Langerhans cells - a type of white blood cell that normally help it fight infection - which can cause tumours and organ damage. 

Despite being treated with chemothearapy and steroids, Oscar's spots have remained, baffling doctors, who do not know how the disease will progress.

Ms Webster continued: 'People always ask if he's got chicken pox, and they often stare at him and point him out in the street - people don't want to come near him because they think they might catch it.

'At Christmas at the Trafford Centre in Manchester they tried to stop him seeing Santa because they thought he was contagious.

'Once I explained it wasn't chicken pox and it's not something you can catch he was allowed in.

'It does sometimes upset me, but if you let every little thing upset you you'd never leave the house, so we just get on with it.'

The condition means Oscar also has a host of other problems, including an enlarged liver and spleen, and a weakened immune system as his blood cells and bone marrow don't reproduce properly.

The spots on Oscar's eyes could hamper his vision if they get any bigger.

And most worrying of all, the disease is linked with cancer, although its exact cause is not known.

Doctors do not know what causes it, although it does have a 90 per cent survival rate, according to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.

'At first we didn't realise there was anything wrong, we thought it was just something normal like neonatal rash - but a midwife saw him and realised there might be a problem.

'Since then, the spots have got progressively worse and worse.'

While the disorder is not contagious, the angry-looking spots caused by the condition leave strangers shying away from Oscar.

Ms Webster says the lack of information about the condition leaves Oscar and his family in 'limbo'. 

'We don't know what's causing it - we've just been told to hope for the best.'

Since he was born in May 2015, Oscar has undergone countless blood tests, weekly blood and platelet transfusions, six bone marrow tests and two skin biopsies.

At just 11 weeks old he started weekly chemotherapy sessions, before being diagnosed with Langerhans' cell histiocytosis at around 15 weeks.

In the UK, only around 50 children a year are diagnosed with the condition, and Oscar's spots make him an unusual case.

Ms Webster said: 'For a baby to be born with spots is almost unheard of.

'When Oscar was born doctors at the Royal Stoke told me they'd never heard of that happening before. 

'We're just at a loss, and need some answers about what's happening and what the future holds.'

Ms Webster's pregnancy went smoothly, however her mother and cousin died in the early stages, leaving her stressed, she said.

Then, Oscar was born 16 days late, by emergency Caesarean section after doctors induced her to go into labour.

At birth, his parents and doctors thought nothing of the spots - believing he would grow out of them - but they continued to get worse as he grew. 

Now, the family are waiting for a referral to see a histocytosis specialist.

Ms Webster said: 'Everyone is just crossing their fingers and hoping Oscar gets better on his own.

'So little is known about it, that no one knows how to help him. It's a worry, because we just don't know what the future holds.'

She continued: 'He's got spots all over his body - even on his tongue and his eyeballs - which makes me worry about what's going on inside.'

However, she says despite his condition, Oscar is a happy child - and she and Mr Langham don't care about his appearance as long as he is healthy. 

She said: 'As long as he's happy and healthy, we don't care about how he looks on the outside. We just want to find some answers.'

Dr Sarah Thompson, consultant paediatrician at Royal Stoke University Hospital, who has been involved in Oscar's treatment, said: 'Little Oscar has a rare version of an already very rare condition.

'In essence, Oscar's immune system is over responding to a skin condition.

'Oscar has been treated with a combination of chemotherapy and steroids, but unfortunately his condition has remained.

'We are awaiting a specialist opinion from the national expert and Oscar continues to be monitored at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.'

Source: MailOnline
2.4 from 9 votes
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