‘My little girl was diagnosed with arthritis at age of one’

Lucy and Ian Baker with children Hannah and Archie

Lucy and Ian Baker with children Hannah and Archie Buy this photo

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by

AFTER four weeks suffering from a mystery illness a toddler was diagnosed with childhood arthritis.

Hannah Baker, one, was tested for “everything under the sun” before doctors at Oxford Children’s Hospital found she had juvenile arthritis in October last year.

To thank staff for their help and care mum Lucy Baker, 34, of Bluebell Way, Carterton, is taking part in the five-mile OX5 Run in the grounds of Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, to raise money for the Headington hospital.

Hannah was tested for illnesses including leukaemia, tuberculosis, malaria, glandular fever, measles and chicken pox in September.

She was rushed into hospital after Mrs Baker and husband Ian Baker, 36, noticed she kept getting fevers and rashes.

Mrs Baker, a civil servant, said: “The worst part of all of it was that we just didn’t know what was wrong with her. It was only by testing for everything under the sun that they found out – it is a very rare condition.

“When you are just sat there thinking ‘what is going on’ it is a very worrying time.

“But all the doctors and nurses and trainees and play specialists were amazing – they kept her smiling when she had all these different tests done.”

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Doctors found Hannah had arthritis in her wrists, ankles, and elbows and she was diagnosed with a very rare form of the joint inflammation condition.

But it was not clear at first that Hannah’s joints were painful.

Mrs Baker added: “It was only in hospital that it developed, when she started to walk she would start to cry and sink down.

“When I first heard I was quite shocked – I was probably one of those people who thought ‘children can’t get arthritis’.

“But it was a bit of a relief because it could have been so much worse, there are a lot more poorly children in the hospital.

“It is sad that it is something that could be a long-term condition, but I think of all the things it could have been and I’m grateful.”

Hannah was given two lots of intensive steroid treatments and is on immuno-suppressant drugs.

It is unknown how the condition will develop.

Mrs Baker, who also has four-year-old Archie, has already raised £200 of her £250 target for the OX5 Run.

The event, on Sunday, March 30, is the hospital’s biggest annual fundraiser.

Mrs Baker signed up for this year’s run after seeing Hannah’s nurses were also running.

Children’s hospital spokesman Sarah Vaccari said: “It’s great that Lucy has been inspired by hearing that her child’s nurses are taking part.

“That’s what makes this event so special, hospital staff, parents of young patients and the whole local community getting together at beautiful Blenheim Palace to raise money for their local children’s hospital.”

More than 1,100 people have signed up for the OX5 Run, which is organised by the Oxford Mail and sponsored by Allen Associates.

It is hoped this year’s fundraising will top the £100,000 mark. Because of the number running there will be not be any on-the-day registrations.

To take part visit oxfordmail.co.uk

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