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Rare disease leaves Cambridgeshire toddler unable to walk and talk

A mum from Cambridgeshire is raising awareness of a rare disease which left her toddler unable to walk or talk.

Three-year-old Theo King was taken to hospital after what his parents thought was a fever.

But, after a number of scans and tests, doctors at Addenbrooke's hospital diagnosed him with Kawasaki disease - a illness which causes inflammation in the body.

The disease affects around eight in 100,000 children every year.

Theo was seen by 100 doctors Credit: ITV News

"It was tortuous.

"He was absolutely not with it at all.

"He was on a morphine drip, on lots of antibiotics and it was horrific. He had to learn to walk again, he was holding on to the walls, and had to learn to speak again.

"It was terrible and I remember sitting there thinking is this going to be my son now and it was horrendous."

– Sophie Saunderson, Mum
Sophie Saunderson with her son Theo King Credit: ITV News

What is Kawasaki disease? (source: NHS England)

Kawasaki disease causes swelling of the blood vessels of the heart and the nymph nodes.

It is commonly found in children under five-years-old. Most children who are treated recover from the disease without long-term problems. If left untreated, it can lead to serious heart disease.

The illness is not contagious.

What are the symptoms?

  • A fever lasting at least 5 days
  • Red eyes
  • A body rash
  • Swollen, red, cracked lips and tongue
  • Swollen, red feet and hands
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
Theo is now on the road to recovery