“I just wanted to help him” said a brave 10-year-old when she made a life changing donation of bone marrow to her poorly three year old brother leading to a nomination for Your Champions.
Toddler Drew Till of Whitby, Ellesmere Port, has a rare genetic condition known as Diamond Blackfan Anaemia, a failure of the bone marrow.
The condition causes Drew’s body to produce few or no red blood cells and he has spent much of his life in and out of the Countess of Chester and Alder Hey hospitals for various medication and monthly blood transfusions.
When doctors told Mum Helen, 43 and Dad Andy, 45 that Drew would need a bone marrow transplant in order to live a healthy life they soon discovered that sister Lexie, a pupil at Woodlands Primary, was a perfect match.
She had no hesitation in volunteering to donate her bone marrow and in June was admitted to Manchester Children’s Hospital for five days of chemotherapy.
Ten days later Lexie underwent the surgery where doctors removed about 700ml of liquid bone marrow with Drew receiving it though a transfusion the next day.
Proud Helen told the Pioneer: ”Lexie bounced back from her surgery and was back in school three days later after a weekend at home.
“There were a few setbacks for Drew that were caused by his treatment but he battled through and has progressed really well.” Drew was finally home after being released from hospital 24 days after his transplant.
“He’s doing well, his new bone marrow is starting to make its own blood products which will hopefully lead to a transfusion free life,” said Helen. “But we are so proud of Lexie for stepping in.”
Lexie said: ”Drew means everything to me, he’s really special and I just wanted to help him.”
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