Published Wednesday, 19 December 2012
Wee Oscar and his sister Izzy had a very special visitor. (© UTV)
The story of Wee Oscar, the brave four-year-old who is battling a rare form of childhood cancer, has captured the hearts of thousands of people around the world.
In October, Stephen and Leona Knox took the difficult decision to fly him to a children's hospital in the United States.
The aim was to get Oscar immunotherapy to boost his chance of survival, but quickly it became clear something was very wrong.
He had a major problem with his heart and a collapsed lung.
It wasn't picked up in Northern Ireland, because it developed as a result of the flight to America.
"It was such a shock to us," Leona said.
"Things very quickly got really bad, Oscar went into intensive care that day and was critically ill for 24 hours. We were a long way from home and just distraught .
We thought it was going to be his last Christmas last year, so to have him doing so well now and the two kids running about messing and fighting and carrying on is brilliant
"We knew straight away immunotherapy was out the window and that's what we really believe Oscar needs to prolong his life, so we couldn't get our heads around that, never mind the fact he was critically ill."
Oscar remained in critical condition for eight days and the family said they were told on two occasions to expect the worst.
Leona continued: "We couldn't believe what was going on, it was like we're in a parallel world so we had to say our goodbyes.
"But he pulled through as he has done so many times."
Eventually, despite further risks to Oscar's health, Stephen and Leona made the decision to fly Oscar home by air ambulance.
It was a 10-hour journey with stops in Canada and Iceland and Oscar was on oxygen throughout.
"The best part of all was landing in Belfast," his mum said. "The ambulance crew from the children's hospital when the door of the plane opened and I stepped out, they said 'welcome home Mrs Knox' and gave me a big hug - it was the best feeling we were so happy."
They hope that, when his health stabilises, there could be hope for treatment in the UK.
Leona continued: "At the moment it is 50-50 as far as I know, whether or not he will relapse so it feels like we are living on a knife edge.
"We don't know what way this is going to go and the sooner we can get immunotherapy the more comfortable and confident we will feel that we have done everything we could."
The family thanked everyone who has helped support them over recent months and said they are now looking forward to spending Christmas together.
And just a few days ago a very special visitor came from Lapland to see Wee Oscar and his sister Izzy.
Sources close to Santa have told UTV that Oscar's wish for special Spiderman hands which shoot webs just might be coming down the chimney for one special little boy this Christmas.
Oscar and Izzy said: "Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas!"
© UTV News