A healthy nine year-old boy who had “never been ill in his life” died recently just weeks after a family camping trip in which he developed a rash on his leg.
Little Sam Leask was diagnosed with the auto-immune disease Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) after he was rushed to the hospital with swollen joints and strange red marks on his legs. Soon after he arrived, his kidneys failed, and doctors rushed to save his life. They ended up performing a five hour operation on the child to remove his badly-damaged colon, but Sam died just weeks later.
“Sam had never been ill in his life. I had never heard of the disease before he was diagnosed,” said his mother Katherine, 42, according to Daily Mail. “Doctors said it normally goes away in time but because Sam has a certain genetic disposition, there were complications and he died.”
“It feels like there is a hole, a void, that will never be filled,” she added. “He was an adventurous and lovely boy and he had so much going for him.”
Sam was camping with his family near a lake in the U.K. last July when he developed a rash on his leg and complained that it was too painful to stand. After spending a night in the hospital, Sam was initially told he could go home. However, 12 days later, his condition worsened and he was rushed back to the hospital. He died there on October 13. Sam left behind his mother and father, as well as a 7 year-old sister, Izzy.
“As we knew that nothing more could be one following surgery we did have a few precious days to make Sam feel so very loved,” Katherine continued. “We will forever be indebted to the staff of initially Dumfries Royal Infirmary and subsequently Yorkhill Children’s Hospital, Glasgow, for their tireless efforts in caring for Sam. His dignity and peace were ensured until the end and the emotional care and support continues on for us as a family.”
“Sam was an adventurous little boy and when he went on holiday, we were more worried about the fact the campsite was near a main road,” his father Julian added. “He loved music and played the double bass. He loved doing impressions and playing football and rugby.”
“He was lots of fun and very bright. We could take him anywhere and he’d get on with everyone; there was nothing he loved more than people.
“He was quite simply a lovely boy.”