Tyne & Wear

Northumberland arthritis girl helped by cancer drug

A schoolgirl with arthritis and "stuck in an old body" has been treated with a cancer drug.

Lottie Lafferty was just three when she was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis and found walking and playing painful.

Three years on, the youngster from Rothbury, is enjoying her childhood after being treated with Methotrexate, which is also used in cancer cases.

She can now run around like other six-year-olds, following treatment at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Her mother Denise said: "In the morning when I was getting her up from bed she couldn't stand on her feet until I had rubbed her knees to make her feel better."

'Gets giddy'

Most people with the condition are affected in up to five joints, but Lottie had swelling and stiffness all over her body - particularly her elbows, wrists, arms, hips, knees and ankles.

She now has weekly injections of the cancer drug and steroids which have help take away the pain.

Her father Neil said: "It was in her toes and wrists and almost everywhere and it was like she was stuck in the body of someone a hell of a lot older.

"She is so much happier now - she even gets giddy when she can climb or cross her legs."

Dr Mark Friswell, consultant paediatric rheumatologist, at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, said Lottie was treated with small doses of Methotrexate to suppress her symptoms.

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