Castleford mum told: ‘Kiss could kill your new baby’

Castleford mum told: ‘Kiss could kill your new baby’
By Stuart Robinson

DOCTORS have told proud mum Lauren Travis that a kiss could kill her new baby Melody.

Three-month-old Melody Davies was diagnosed with a genetic disorder called severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) which affects just one in 500,000 babies and means she has no immune system so even a common cold could kill her.

Parents, Lauren, 23, and Scott Davies, 28 must find a bone marrow donor in the next three weeks before Melody will be sent for gene therapy at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London.

Lauren, of Briggs Avenue, Castleford, said: “None of her family are matches. I’m close, but the doctors want a perfect match.

“It’s a waiting game. They’re doing an international search, but it gets worse every day. You know she’s running out of time before she has to go to London.”

SCID means children need a germ-free environment to survive before treatment.

Melody is currently in a room filled with filtered air at a specialist hospital in Newcastle.

Lauren said: “Things like a cold, or a cold sore, can be lethal, because she has no cells to fight them off. It’s awful, you can’t kiss her. You can’t have facial contact with her. It’s why they say ‘a kiss can kill’, because you could pass a cold on.”

A bone marrow transplant would give Melody an immune system but un
less the match is perfect, she could reject the cells.

Gene therapy is being tested as a treatment but the procedure is not without risks.

Lauren said: “It’s horrifying to think that she’ll be a guinea pig but you can’t think of it like that. She’s not the first. They’ve done trials in Italy, America, France and at Great Ormond Street.

“Obviously they don’t know the long term effects but what do you do? If she doesn’t get the treatment she will probably die.

“You are put in the position where you have to make a decision. You just have to weigh it up.

“She was lucky doctors at Pontefract diagnosed her so early.

“I think if it had been much longer, we would have been looking at a different outcome.

Lauren has also asked people to put themselves forward as bone marrow donors. For more information visit http://www.melodysdiary.piczo.com which has been set up by her parents.

The full article contains 395 words and appears in EP Leeds First & County newspaper.
Last Updated: 28 March 2008 8:18 AM

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