In the U.K. the chicken pox vaccine is not common so parents can expect their little ones to get it at some point.
It will certainly take its toll on your child for at least two weeks but for most children chickenpox is not dangerous.
So, when mom Stephanie Webster, from the U.K. saw red spots all over her son Oscar, she presumed that he’d got chickenpox.
But when the 26-year-old took Oscar to the doctor she was given a different diagnosis, one which turned her whole world upside down.
Oscar was born with a slight rash all over his body which didn’t raise any alarm bells.
“At first we didn’t realize there was anything wrong, we thought it was just something normal like neonatal rash – but a midwife saw him and realized there might be a problem,” his mother said, as per The Daily Mail.
“Since then, the spots have got progressively worse and worse.”
By the time he was ten months old, the red dots had become more prominent but still his parents thought it wasn’t anything dangerous, they wondered if it might be chickenpox.
But as the spots got bigger and increased in number, they took Oscar to see a doctor.
The worried parents got a diagnosis that shook them to the core.
Their little boy was diagnosed with Langerhans cell hypertrophy; a cancer-like disease that attacks cells of the immune system.
Each year, approximately 1 in 100,000 children are born in the UK with Langerhans’ cell histiocytosis (LCS).
The affliction can begin as a single skin ulcer – the fact that Oscar was born with spots is almost unheard of.
The young boy has been treated with steroids and chemotherapy, but the spots have continued to baffle doctors by remaining.
According to Great Ormond Street Hospital, the disease has a 90 percent survival rate in children.
Sadly, Oscar’s appearance often causes people to stay well away from him for fear it might be contagious.
“People always ask if he’s got chickenpox, 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,” Stephanie says.
However, his parents do their best to ignore the negativity.
Stephanie says: “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.”
Instead, the family wants to educate others on this unusual condition. It’s their hope that people will come to learn their little boy isn’t dangerous in any way.
The condition means that Oscar has a host of other problems to contend with as well, including an enlarged liver and spleen. His immune system is weakened by the disease because his blood cells and bone marrow aren’t working as they should.
It’s feared that the spots around Oscar’s eyes could prohibit his sight if they continue to grow.
“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,” Stephanie explains.
It’s difficult for the family as so little is known about the disease that doctors were initially at a loss with how best to help Oscar improve moving forward.
Since his birth in May, 2015, Oscar has undergone countless blood tests, weekly blood and platelet transfusions, six bone marrow tests and two skin biopsies.
And yet he remains his family’s biggest ray of light!
Despite his condition, Oscar is a happy child – he has never let his appearance get him down yet!
“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,” his mom says.
Unfortunately, his parents have a hard time convincing others that Oscar isn’t carrying a contagious virus, so he doesn’t have that many friends.
Together, we’re going to do our best to change that. Share this message and let’s help raise awareness of this disease!