Fund set up to help family of Naples baby in need of emergency transplant

Fund set up to help family of Naples baby in need of emergency transplant

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Naples baby recently diagnosed with a severe immune deficiency needs an emergency bone marrow transplant and his parents need help with out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Adam Saada, 3 months, has been diagnosed with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, SCID, and is presently hospitalized and quarantined at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood. He is being moved shortly to Jackson Memorial Hospital to a different quarantine unit, said Sue Buck, the baby’s great aunt. The baby’s parents are Amy and Hussam Saada, of Naples.

The immune system deficiency is the same rare disorder that became well known in the 1970’s as the “Bubble Boy” disease,” involving David Vetter, who had SCID and lived in a plastic germ-free bubble for 12 years.

The disease was once considered fatal but is now seen as a pediatric emergency and can be remedied by a bone marrow transplant. The first successful bone marrow transplant was performed in 1968. More recently, gene therapy has become possible but also carries risks.

Amy Saada works for Collier County’s Department of Human Services and her husband is employed at Wachovia Bank. While the family has insurance, they will face major expenses out of pocket, Buck said.

A trust account has been set up at a local bank for donations.

Adam was born on April 3 and was fine but three weeks ago he became sick and was taken to North Naples Hospital, where he was diagnosed with PCP pneumonia, a certain strain of pneumonia, and he was flown to Joe DiMaggio.

“Two days ago, they figured out he has no immune system,” Buck said.

The bone marrow transplant is urgent because it’s unclear how long he can be quarantined and fighting the pneumonia with no immune system, she said. Infectious complications are a major threat to effective treatment for SCID, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

The CDC estimates one incident for every 100,000 live births.

“They take out his marrow and put in new marrow and he ends up with a new immune system when it is done,” Buck said. “It does not have to be a perfect match.”

A trust account has been established with a family friend, Sharon Ardrey, to accept donations to help with the family’s medical expenses.

Checks should be made out to “Sharon Ardrey trust for Adam Saada” and mailed to Ardrey at 1507 Vintage Lane, Naples, FL 34104, or send a check in the same name to Encore Bank, 3003 Tamiami Trail, Naples, FL 34103.

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