Brave youngster from South Yorkshire battles condition which causes body to swell like balloon

Mckenzie Watson has nephrotic syndrome, which causes his face and body to swell up
Mckenzie Watson has nephrotic syndrome, which causes his face and body to swell up

A brave youngster in South Yorkshire is battling a rare condition which causes his face and body to swell up like a balloon.

Mckenzie Watson, from Norton, in Doncaster, was diagnosed in January with nephrotic syndrome.

Mckenzie with mum Antonia and dad Andrew Watson (photo: Chris Etchells)

Mckenzie with mum Antonia and dad Andrew Watson (photo: Chris Etchells)

The five-year-old, who is a huge Spiderman fan and loves boxing, has just begun chemotherapy in an attempt to treat the chronic kidney disorder.

Nephrotic Syndrome causes people's kidneys to 'leak' protein, which in turn leads to a build up of water in the body.

There is no known cure for the debilitating condition, which makes people more prone to infection, anaemia and thrombosis, and if left untreated it can develop into kidney failure, requiring a transplant.

Mckenzie's water intake is strictly rationed and he has been taking steroids to suppress the condition, which have left the normally happy child subject to mood swings.

Mckenzie has just begun chemotherapy (photo: Chris Etchells)

Mckenzie has just begun chemotherapy (photo: Chris Etchells)

His father Andrew is preparing for a charity skydive to fund research into the condition, which affects around 10,000 people in the UK each year.

The youngster's mum Antonia said the family knew something was wrong when his face and body became badly swollen in January.

"We took him to the doctor, who immediately referred him to the children's hospital, where he was diagnosed," said the 26-year-old, who manages a dog grooming salon.

"Since then he's been in and out of hospital for protein transfusions.

"He's currently limited to 800ml of fluids per day, which is less than a pint-and-a-half, and he's allowed very little salt in his diet.

"He's become steroid dependent, and the steroids are really affecting him with mood swings.

"He's always been a healthy, happy boy, but he's heartbroken to have this condition because he's having to go into hospital so much and he's no longer allowed his favourite foods like chicken nuggets and McDonald's."

* Mckenzie's dad, who will attempt his skydive in October, is seeking to raise £2,000 to help find a cure for the condition. You can donate at www.gofundme.com/mckenzie-watson.

* For more information about the condition, visit NeST (Nephrotic Syndrome Trust) at nstrust.co.uk.