The five-year-old boy who looks pregnant: Youngster is having chemotherapy to cure him of a rare condition that makes people think ‘he is about to pop’
- Mckenzie Watson suffers from a disorder that causes his kidneys to leak fluid
- Makes his abdomen swell, which his mother likened to being heavily pregnant
- Mckenzie’s parents initially laughed off the disorder as excess Christmas weight
- When he could not fit in his swimming trunks, he was taken to hospital for 11 days
- Mckenzie must take steroids every day and complete an eight-week chemo cycle
A five-year-old is having chemotherapy to cure him of a rare condition that makes him look pregnant.
Mckenzie Watson suffers from a disorder known as nephrotic syndrome, which causes his kidneys to leak, filling his abdomen with fluid.
The schoolboy, from Doncaster, is left in agony as his face and belly swell up with liquid.
Mckenzie’s mother Antonia Watson, 26, says her son’s condition is so severe his abdomen looks like hers did just before she gave birth to him.
She said: ‘The first time it happened, we just thought he had put on weight over Christmas. He was massive, he looked as though he was nine months’ pregnant and about to pop.’
A five-year-old is having chemotherapy to cure him of a disorder that makes him look pregnant
Mckenzie Watson suffers from nephrotic syndrome, which causes his kidneys to leak
His leaking kidneys make his abdomen fill with fluid (pictured with his mother Antonia, 26)
‘He looked as though he was about to pop’
Ms Watson, a dog groomer, said: ‘When McKenzie has a relapse, his tummy really swells up.
‘The first time it happened, we just thought he had put on weight over Christmas. But it kept getting bigger.
‘I took him swimming and realised how swollen he was. His swimming trunks didn’t fit and his stomach was really, really bloated.
‘It was so scary because his skin was so tight and no one knew what was going on.
She said: ‘He was massive, he looked as though he was nine months’ pregnant and about to pop.
‘His skin is even really hard as though it were a fully formed bump.’
He is having chemotherapy to weaken his immune system (pictured with his father Andy)
‘He’s having to have a daily dose of chemotherapy’
Ms Watson and her husband Andy rushed Mckenzie to hospital, where he stayed for 11 days before being diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome.
Mckenzie has started his eight-week chemotherapy treatment, which will weaken his immune system in an attempt to treat the disorder.
Ms Watson said: ‘We have to give him steroids every day to stop his kidneys from leaking protein.
‘And now he’s having to have a daily dose of chemotherapy to hopefully kill off his immune system to stop it attacking his kidneys.
‘He’s not allowed any salty food and he’s only allowed a pint and a half of water each day.’
Despite Mckenzie’s condition being stable, his symptoms can quickly return if his disorder is not strictly controlled.
Since January, he has been admitted to hospital three times.
Ms Watson said: ‘He’s relapsed six times, but three of those times we managed to keep it under control at home. Each one was terrifying.
‘We know when he’s about to relapse too – if he doesn’t go to the toilet for a long time, that’s how we knew he was about to relapse.
‘He starts swelling up because his body retains the water.
‘When he gets swollen his skin goes really tight, so it’s more uncomfortable than it is painful.’
Mckenzie’s family are raising money to help find a cure for nephrotic syndrome.