UK Boy With Leukaemia Had Successful Treatment In NUH, Now On His Way To Recovery
Remember the UK boy who needed $849K for his leukaemia treatment?
As of Wednesday night (15 Jan), he’s cancer-free. This is a huge win for Oscar and his family, who have been battling the rare form of leukaemia since his diagnosis in Dec 2018.
Boy diagnosed with rare leukaemia, had no more options in UK
His family nearly lost hope that he’d ever be cancer-free.
Oscar was just 4 when diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. He received extensive treatment at home in England, but relapsed.
Channel NewsAsia (CNA) reports that his condition worsened rapidly since Aug 2019. He ran out of options in the United Kingdom, and was running out of time too.
After consulting medical professionals from Singapore, his parents took the plunge and flew the family here.
Fortunately, they raised enough money for him to receive the experimental CAR-T cell immunotherapy at National University Hospital (NUH).
The treatment was a success, and just 2 weeks later he was declared cancer-free.
First step towards full recovery
Just weeks ago, his family prepared for the worst as they were told “his disease is too aggressive”. They even started palliative care.
It’s a miracle that Oscar is cancer-free now. And his mother took to Facebook just yesterday (16 Jan) to announce the good news.
We know it’s early days and anything can happen especially with his bone marrow being flat, but for now we are celebrating the news that we never thought we would hear!
Receiving the treatment
The treatment Oscar received is known as CAR-T cell immunotherapy. It equips the immune cells in a patient’s blood with a receptor that binds to specific cancer cells, thereby killing them.
The Saxelby-Lee’s arrived in Singapore on 19 Nov 2019, and treatment started a month later on 19 Dec. Sadly, things weren’t smooth-sailing as planned.
He had a fever and multiple blood transfusions leading up to receiving the cell infusion, but was a trooper and kept a brave front through it all.
On 23 Dec, it looked like the transfusion had to be delayed, but things cleared up and Oscar received the T-cells on Christmas Eve, as scheduled.
The Saxelby-Lee’s spent Christmas in NUH, anticipating the results of the treatment.
The family experienced an emotional roller coaster, but little Oscar remained a cheerful little cherub throughout.
Still in need of blood donations
Oscar and his family are determined for him to make a full recovery. He’s still up for a bone marrow transplant from his father and will remain in Singapore until he completes the course of treatment.
He’s currently reliant on blood transfusions and platelet donations. His parents have reached out to the public on Facebook to donate blood, as the National Blood Reserve recently experienced a shortage.
His parents wrote,
Oscar is blood type O+ but remember to donate to save others too! Platelets can be donated from anyone so please I ask you all to kindly take a few minutes out of your day to help.
The reserve of O+ blood is dipping to low levels.
To keep supporting Oscar on his journey to recovery, you can donate blood at one of Singapore’s 4 blood banks at:
- Dhoby Ghaut
- Westgate Tower
- Health Sciences Authority (HSA) in Outram
Check out the details on Red Cross’ website for more details and updates on the blood stocks.
Their unwavering hope captured the hearts of many
The Saxelby-Lee’s went through more emotional turmoil in the matter of a year than many do in a lifetime.
They shared every aspect of their journey, from the highest highs to the lowest lows. One can only imagine the emotional tenacity needed to support a young child through such a difficult-to-navigate experience. Spending the holiday season in the hospital with your ill child must be unimaginably difficult, and we deeply sympathise with Oscar’s parents.
Oscar’s courage is really commendable for a child his age. Few would be able to go for so many hospital visits yet stay as cheerful as him.
MS News wishes Oscar a speedy recovery and hope to see the Saxelby-Lee family healthy and happily back home in the near future.
Featured image adapted from Facebook.