Express & Star

'Disease stopped our son playing football - until surprise visit from his favourite Wolves player'

A surprise visit from his favourite player has helped change the life of a nine-year-old Wolves fan who was diagnosed with a rare disease.

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Oscar Eckersley, from Tettenhall, was forced to stop playing football after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder after his mother, Joanne, spotted unusual bruising on his legs.

After speaking with her GP, who followed up by arranging a blood test, the youngster was transferred to the Birmingham Children's Hospital where he was sadly diagnosed with the rare disease called Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP).

Oscar received life savinchanging treatement in the form of intravenous immunoglobulin, a medicine made from donated plasma

The condition destroys blood platelets, which help blood to clot and prevent bleeding and bruising after injury.

Shortly after being diagnosed, Oscar received intravenous immunoglobulin, a medicine which is made from donated plasma and contains antibodies to stop white blood cells from destroying platelets.

However, despite receiving treatment, Oscar found that he was reluctant to play football due to a fear of being injured again.

Now, after seeing an interview featuring Oscar's story, Huge Bueno surprised the nine-year-old on Tettenhall Green, where the two had a kick-around, before Bueno invited Oscar to Molineux to watch the team train.

Oscar found that his confidence was knocked following the diagnosis

The left-back said: "The club told me about Oscar's story and the fact he's lost his confidence to play football with his friends.

"It was so nice to be able to visit Oscar at his home, teach him some new football skills and see him smile and have fun. It feels so important that we try to bring back his love for the sport and help to make it a normal part of his life once again.

"I encourage others to donate plasma to help more children and adults like Oscar who need plasma treatments to live their lives. It only takes around an hour, and local Wolverhampton fans can donate at Birmingham Plasma Donor Centre."

Hugo Bueno visited nine-year-old Oscar Eckersley for a kick around before inviting to watch Wolves train

Following the visit, Oscar's parents, Joanne and Ken Eckersley, said that the experience has grown Oscar's confidence, with the nine-year-old asking to return to playing football with his friends.

Joanne and Ken said: "Oscar is a shy boy, but has a real zest for life and loves being active. Since Hugo’s visit, Oscar’s confidence has grown, and has been asking us to return to playing football with his friends again.

"Thank you to everyone who donates plasma because it helps people like Oscar to continue doing what they love."