Donor hope for Melody

Donor hope for Melody

A WORLDWIDE hunt for a bone marrow donor to save the life of little Melody Davies could be over after three possible matches were found this week.
As the Express exclusively reported last week, time was running out for the poorly three-month-old who has been diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID).
The condition – which effects just one in 500,000 babies – has left Melody with no immune system and means a common cold could kill her.

Doctors told her worried parents, Lauren, 23, and Scott, 28, of Briggs Avenue, Castleford, they had just weeks to find a donor before Melody would be sent for clinical trials in gene therapy in London in a desperate bid to find a cure.
But on Friday they received the news that three bone marrow donors had been found as well as a cord blood match – from stem cell-rich umbilical cords – in Germany.

Lauren said: “When I found out, I couldn’t breathe. I wasn’t expecting it after all this time. In my head we were all going to London – I was just preparing for that.”
Scott added: “We were at the end of our tether. Everywhere around us there were donors being found and people having transplants and we were starting to feel like we were never going to have that.
“Obviously we would have gone to London if that was the only possibility she had, but we were so worried because it is such a new treatment. So we are over the moon that donors have been found.”

The couple still face an anxious wait to find out if the matches are perfect – to lessen the chance that Melody could reject the cells.
Lauren said: “They
are going to do what’s called a high resolution test on them. If they do match they would mix some of the cord blood and bone marrow together apparently, to put into Melody.
“We just have to wait again now but we feel a bit more optimistic.”

Doctors have said they want to carry out a transplant in the middle of April, so if the donations are matches Melody will be rushed off to have a course of chemotherapy before any operation.
Lauren said: “They need to rid her of any immunity she has left from me, from pregnancy.
“They have to kill all those cells off so she won’t reject any of the donor cells.”

Soctt said: “Our main concern at the moment is for her to put on weight. The doctors need to beef her up before she has chemotherapy or a transplant.
“But she put weight on yesterday, so we are very happy.
“She is so good – such a strong little fighter. We are so proud of her.”

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