Boy, 7, has been ‘constipated for 5 years’ and doctors are clueless
A young boy has been constipated for 5 years due to a bowel disorder that's mystifying Australian doctors.
Connor Roxburgh, 7, first started having trouble going to the toilet when he was 2. Doctors gave him a laxative which seemed to help, but in 2018 things took a turn for the worse.
"He stopped growing and started to lose weight," Shai told Kidspot.
"He also stopped eating like a healthy growing boy should. We then started [down] the road we're on now."
While his symptoms seem like normal constipation, laxatives no longer have any effect and he often suffers severe "blockages" that have required hospitalisation. He can't go to the toilet by himself and has to have his bowels "flushed" with a tube inserted into his torso every night, seriously limiting his ability to have a normal childhood.
"He can't swim in the local pool or play contact sport, he can't play in sand or get dirty because his wound hasn't healed," Shai said.
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Connor will turn 8 in March, but is the same height as his 5-year-old brother, and weighs less than his 3-year-old cousin..
He's had three different surgeries in an attempt to fix the problem, and has to be driven 4 hours from their hometown of Orange to Sydney for frequent appointments.
But after all this time, his parents are no closer to finding out what's wrong with him. Initially medical professionals brushed it off as "just gastro".
"It's only since last year that the doctors started to take me seriously and look into it further," Shai said.
"Our doctors can't give us the answers to why Connor gets blocked and how to fix it the best they can."
Later in January he'll see a new set of doctors who will try to solve the medical mystery, and Connor will probably have to have a colostomy bag at just 7 years old.
"I'm not sure how long he will need the bag for – I pray it's just till he's older but I'm so in the dark," Shai said.
"I'm told one thing then the opposite happens… it makes me want to pull my hair out some days."
Her husband Jeremy is the family's sole source of income because Shai has to spend so much time driving Connor to appointments, and her parents have had to help them out financially.
A friend of the Roxburghs has set up a GoFundMe to fundraise for Connor's medical and travel costs.
Shai said her son is "one of the bravest little boys I know… but he's slowly starting to show signs he's over it".
"[He] has missed so much of school and fun things that seven-year-old boys should do. This is because he's blocked all the time, but he doesn't complain," she said.
"He often says to me he hates being different. He hates having a tube and having to go back and forward to appointments. He hates being in hospital away from his brothers and dad. And it's these days that have the toll on him."
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