Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Oscar Knox: Cruel new blow for sick tot as heart problem halts treatment

Oscar Knox

Doctors in the United States treating a four-year-old boy with an aggressive childhood cancer have discovered he has a potentially fatal heart condition.

Oscar Knox has been diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, meaning he can no longer receive treatment to stop his cancer returning.

He has been admitted to an intensive care ward in a Philadelphia hospital and will return home once his condition stabilises.

It is the latest devastating blow for the family — Oscar was born with a rare condition, Jacobsen syndrome, that can cause heart, stomach and breathing problems, as well as blood disorders and learning difficulties.

He was then diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma — an aggressive childhood cancer which could kill him.

The youngster has already endured painful chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments in an effort to beat the disease.

The family managed to raise a massive £250,000 to bring Oscar to America and fund cutting-edge treatment there, but their hopes have been dashed with the latest diagnosis.

They posted on Twitter yesterday: “Some v bad news today, an issue has been discovered with Oscar's heart. He has been admitted to hospital for treatment. Will keep u posted”.

Later they added: “Oscar in ICU with pulmonary hypertension. Aim is to stabilise him + get us home ASAP. Immunotherapy is no longer an option”.

Pulmonary hypertension is high pressure inside the pulmonary arteries.

It is a serious medical condition as it results in damage to the right-hand side of the heart.

This leads to symptoms including shortness of breath, fatigue and feeling faint or dizzy.

If it not treated, pulmonary hypertension can cause heart failure.

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