Mum heartbroken after six-year-old Wakefield boy suddenly paralysed by rare condition

A Schoolboy from Wakefield was left paralsyed by a rare condition just days after he had been running around and dancing on a normal family Saturday night.

Monday, 9th September 2019, 11:46 am
Oliver Quirke picture before and after he was left paralysed by a rare condition.

Oliver Quirke has been diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis, which affects the spinal chord and has left him paralysed from the waist down.

His heartbroken mother Kelly Booth has spoken of the devastating moment she was told her previously healthy son's life had changed forever.

Oliver Quirke

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Miss Booth, 40, said Oliver, then aged five, was singing and dancing and running around at the family's home in Ossett, Wakefield, on Saturday October 20 2018.

On the Sunday lunchtime his right leg gave way under him as he tried to get up off the sofa and he was unable to walk properly.

Miss Booth took Oliver to Pinderfields Hospital at Wakefield that night where doctors X-rayed his right leg and placed it in pot after suspecting he had a hairline fracture.

Oliver, who was was struggling to breathe and could not eat or drink, was kept in hospital that night.

Oliver Quirke

On the Monday night a doctor who saw Oliver suspected he was suffering from guillain barre syndrome.

Oliver, a pupil at Gawthorpe Academy in Ossett, was transferred to Sheffield Children's Hospital, where his condition deteriorated and he was placed on life support and underwent a tracheotomy.

Miss Booth said she and Oliver's father Gerard Quirke, 53, were told on the Tuesday afternoon that he was suffering from acute flaccid myelitis and was paralysed.

Oliver Quirke

She said: "I just broke down and cried. I didn't know what to say, I was just absolutely devastated. It has turned our lives upside down.

"He was just a normal litle boy, running around and playing on his trampoline. He was singing and dancing the night before."

"Now he can't walk. He gets frustrated and upset easily. He can't use the toilet and is back in nappies.

"It has been horrendous, life changing."

Miss Booth, who also has a 14-year-old daughter called Molly, has launched a crowdfunding appeal to raise £10,000 to buy Oliver a lightweight wheelchair, standing frame and physiotherapy sessions.

She said: "The wheelchair Oliver has now is too heavy and he is getting too big for it so we really need to get him a bigger and lighter chair.

"Any donations people can give would be really appreciated."

Miss Booth is currently at Stoke Mandeville Hosital with Oliver, now aged six, as he undergoes rehabilitation therapy.

To contribute to the appeal, go to