‘Bubble baby’ who could be killed by his parents’ kiss

‘Bubble baby’ who could be killed by his parents’ kiss
Last updated at 12:09pm on 30th October 2007

He is the heartbreakingly fragile baby who his adoring parents cannot even kiss – and when he reaches up to touch his mother’s face, she has to move away.

Little Logan Wilkieson is suffering from a rare genetic disorder which affects his immune system and means the slightest touch could lead to a serious infection.

His condition is so precarious that anyone who comes into contact with him has to scrub themselves thoroughly beforehand and if he throws anything out of his cot it has to be cleaned before he can touch it again.

Even clothes have to be washed at the hospital with special washing powder to prevent Logan reacting to them.

The little boy was diagnosed with severe combined immunodeficiency, more commonly known as baby bubble disease just three weeks ago. It affects one in 100,000 babies.

At the moment the seven-month-old is being cared for in a special unit at Newcastle General Hospital while he waits for chemotherapy but even after that he faces gruelling stem cell transplant in a bid to beat the illness that is blighting his life.

His parents, 20-year-old Ruth Lawrie and Gareth Wilkieson, aged 22, have given up their home in Horwich, near Bolton, and moved nearer to the hospital to be with their son.

Miss Lawrie said: “When the doctor phoned us and told us the results of the blood tests we were devastated. “He was transferred from the Royal Bolton Hospital to Newcastle straight away and it has been very hard for the whole family.

“We can’t even kiss him because he could catch something. He likes to touch my face but he can’t do that either.

“He is still happy and giggling at the moment, but we know that he will get worse once the chemotherapy starts.

“We are just looking forward to him getting better and being able to take him home.”

Logan is on a course of antibiotics and steroids to help him battle infection.

His bone marrow is not functioning and he is very vulnerable to disease.

When he is fit enough, he will undergo a stem cell transplant through a blood transfusion which should make his bone marrow work properly.

A stem cell match from another baby has been found at the umbilical cord bank – a collection of cells extracted from the cords of healthy babies minutes after birth. Logan is expected to be in hospital for a minimum of five months.

Family friend Kim Walls said: “Ruth and Gareth are the bravest people I know. They have been so strong throughout this ordeal, I just don’t know how they are doing it.

“We feel helpless because we want to help, but there is very little we can do. We want to take him toys, but there are only certain things he is allowed.

“We pray every day that he will get better and look forward to him coming home.”

Friends and family are hoping to organise a charity event to raise awareness of Logan’s illness and money for the hospital and family.

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