The mother of a five-year-old boy who will die unless he has a bone marrow transplant has issued a plea to readers of the Borehamwood & Elstree Times.
Tommy Cash-Hutchin, of St Paul’s Close, Boreham- wood, has a rare condition which means his immune system cannot fight even the smallest of infections. He needs a bone marrow transplant is he is to lead a normal life and survive into adulthood.
But there are currently no matches for him on the donor register, so his only hope is for a suitable donor to come forward soon.
His mother, Kelly Hutchin, 23, discovered Tommy had severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) when he was three months old after he suffered from repeated coughs, colds and pneumonia.
The same condition, which is hereditary, killed Tommy’s five-year-old cousin.
Miss Hutchin said: “You wouldn’t think Tommy’s got anything wrong with him to look at him, but if he doesn’t have a bone marrow transplant, he won’t live.
“The doctors want to do it as soon as possible because it’s easier when they’re younger.”
The pair travel to Great Ormond Street Hospital every Wednesday for life-saving treatment to ward off infections by giving him essential white blood cells.
Miss Hutchin added: “He’s started asking me questions about why he has to go to hospital and his cousin doesn’t. I try to explain to him that he hasn’t got any white blood cells, but he’s still a bit too young. We need more people to come forward to be donors – not just for Tommy, there are other people as well who need it.”
News of Tommy’s plight has spread and a group of fundraisers who work at Cardif Pinnacle in Borehamwood have set about raising enough money to send him and his mum on a holiday.
Heather Walsh, who works at The Community Shop in Leeming Road, met Tommy and his mother at a young parenting group. She plans to put on an awareness-raising event after Christmas in conjunction with the Anthony Nolan Trust, which will provide blood-testing equipment for people to join their donor register. Mrs Walsh said: “I think Kelly does a tremendous job.”
* To sign up to the Anthony Nolan Trust register of potential bone marrow donors, you need to be aged between 18 and 40. The charity particularly needs young men to join. Call the trust on 020 7284 1234 or visit http://www.anthonynolan.org.uk
6:18pm Thursday 5th October 2006
By Emma Hutchings