1-Year-Old Fights for Life After Chemo Overdose: Dad - NBC4 Washington
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1-Year-Old Fights for Life After Chemo Overdose: Dad

Boy Battling Cancer Gets 10 Times Dose of Chemo at Philly Hospital: Father

Isaac Harrison is battling a rare form of cancer and is now fighting to survive an overdose of chemotherapy. Because of a typo, the Philadelphia boy's father says Isaac was given 10x the dosage he was supposed to receive. (Published Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015)

Battling a rare form of cancer was already taking a toll on Issac Harrison and his family.

One month shy of his first birthday, Isaac is now fighting to survive an overdose of chemotherapy his father said was administered by the Philadelphia hospital where Isaac was diagnosed and initially treated.

"It’s like a nightmare," Kwamane Harrison said, adding his son’s cancer is so rare, doctors told him no one else in the city has it.

Since there have only been six known cases in medical history, doctors said they would have to come up with their own formula for treatment, according to Harrison.

One doctor told the family Isaac may only live a week after being diagnosed.

That was in late August.

Isaac began chemotherapy at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, where Harrison said his son was given 10 times the dose of chemotherapy he was supposed to get. That went on for five days, according to Harrison.

"They said this was one of the biggest medical mistakes in 35 years," said Harrison, whose son is now fighting under the care of doctors at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. "He goes through all of these pains, losing hair, crying excessively from all the pain he’s going through."

A spokeswoman for St. Christopher’s Hospital said she couldn't respond specifically to the family's concerns, citing privacy laws. "It remains the focus of St. Christopher's Hospital for Children to provide high-quality care to every patient we serve," Kelsey Jacobsen said.

A letter provided by the Harrison family, allegedly from hospital officials, states: 

"Isaac was being treated for a very unusual and serious cancer. The calculation done was inaccurate, resulting in Isaac receiving more chemotherapy than he should have. 

"This complication is a cause for great regret."

Documents from the Harrison family include a Final Report detailing how hospital staff discovered Isaac was given 10x the daily dose of chemotherapy intended due to "a typographic error." Doctors at St. Christopher's called CHOP to begin the transfer process for Isaac.

Dr. Mary Moran, the head of pediatrics at St. Christopher's, said the hospital would review policies after the incident.

Isaac is the youngest of five children.

"Nobody wants to hear their child has cancer," Harrison said. "Every day that passes, he's blessed."