UK boy who came to S’pore for treatment for aggressive cancer is ‘almost ready to go home’

SINGAPORE (CNA) – About nine months ago, doctors in the United Kingdom (UK) told Oscar Saxelby-Lee’s parents there was nothing more they could do for him – all treatment options had been exhausted and there was only palliative care left for the little boy.

But after coming to Singapore for an experimental treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, Oscar is now almost ready to go home after receiving news on Monday he has been free of cancer for almost six months. Since he was diagnosed in December 2018, he has undergone rounds of chemotherapy, months in isolation, several stem cell transplants and a treatment in Singapore that only one other child in the world has received.

The six-year-old is set to undergo a check up later this week, and will hope to be given the all clear to fly home, his mother Olivia told CNA.

“He’s like our little miracle. It’s incredible, I couldn’t express to you the feelings we’re feeling now,” she said. As long as all is okay and nothing needs to happen, or nothing needs to be changed, then we should be ready to go (home), which is incredible and for Oscar, is everything.

“He’s a little boy … who wants to experience life and to most of all, be with his family. He is really excited about it.”

Oscar Saxelby-Lee. Photo: CNA

On April 9, Oscar was discharged from the National University Hospital (NUH), where he had been undergoing compassionate treatment – which means it is not even in the medical trial stage yet. Going home will bring its own difficulties.

“It is a huge step to go back. Singapore is our security net, and that’s why it’s so hard for us as parents to kind of pack up and go and leave,” Olivia explained.

“I say a security net for us because when we go home, if anything were to happen to Oscar … we are kind of worried because if anything did happen, where would you go?

“But to just see our family again … we are desperate just to get home to see people, just to see them.

“I know at the moment it is difficult, but just to have a cuddle, or you know, some support in front of us rather than over the phone or virtually… it’s a real hard situation to be in.”