Belfast Telegraph

Little Oscar home... and hospital bill could top £400,000

By John Mulgrew

Little Oscar Knox has returned home to Belfast with his parents after spending three weeks in a US hospital following a failed attempt to provide specialist treatment for his rare form of cancer.

The four-year-old touched down on Saturday after a 10-hour flight by air ambulance with stops in Canada and Iceland.

His father Stephen said “horrendous” medical costs in the three weeks spent in the US could amount to more than £400,000 — and appealed for the public’s help in continuing to raise funds for his treatment.

Oscar, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in November last year, was unable to undergo a six-month treatment in Philadelphia after a problem was discovered with his heart.

His life hung in the balance for four days after his condition deteriorated, but the little fighter recovered enough to make the long journey home.

Mr Knox said that although it was “heartbreaking” to see his child go through such pain, the family will “continue to do everything they can to help him beat his condition”.

They will now be assessing further treatments for when Oscar is well enough.

“It’s good to be back in Belfast. He’s doing really well and handled the flight very well,” Stephen told the Belfast Telegraph.

“But we don’t really know where we are going right now and there has to be a lot of discussion.”

Oscar’s battle with neuroblastoma came to the attention of thousands across the globe when his family set up a Twitter account to help raise awareness of his battle.

They managed to raise the £250,000 needed to pay for the treatment for him in the US within just a few months, but with his latest problem, costs spiralled and they will need to fundraise again.

Background

Little Oscar Knox is suffering from neuroblastoma — an aggressive form of cancer. Earlier this month the four-year-old and his parents Stephen and Leona travelled to Philadelphia for potentially life-saving treatment. However, it was then discovered that the Belfast boy had a serious heart condition which meant that he could not undergo the planned immunotherapy.

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