Family vows not to be beaten as bug puts Low Moor teenager Harrison back in hospital

BRAVE: Harrison with mum Joann McQuillan

BRAVE: Harrison with mum Joann McQuillan

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Plans for a fundraising party to celebrate the fifth anniversary of a teenager’s lung transplant have been put on hold after he was dealt a devastating double blow.

Harrison Smith, of Low Moor, has been transferred from St James’s Hospital in Leeds to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle after being diagnosed with pneumonia this week.

The 19-year-old is also facing a life on kidney dialysis after treatment for PTLD – post-transplant lymphoma disease – caused irreversible damage to his kidneys.

Harrison, who has cystic fibrosis and spent two years on the waiting list before having a transplant in 2007, is now back on oxygen and his mum Joann McQuillan said it was like being back to where they were five years ago.

“Everything is going from bad to worse,” she said. “It is heartbreaking to watch. His lungs are not good and at one point they thought he was rejecting them. It is scary.”

Joann, who is with Harrison in Newcastle, had been hoping to hold a fundraising party on November 6 to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital and Bradford Royal Infirmary, where Harrison has been treated in the past. However, this is now on hold, as are plans for a dream holiday.

Harrison developed PTLD in October 2010. The disease, which occurs as a result of the immuno-suppressive drugs used to prevent the rejection of the transplanted lungs, was treated with chemotherapy and he was given the all clear around a month ago.

However, in August his kidney function started to decline as a result of all the chemotherapy treatment and he now faces having dialysis three times a week.

“It is like a vicious circle,” said Joann. “He wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the lung transplant and we opted for the treatment that works to get rid of the PTLD but it has damaged his kidneys. It is frustrating and if I could take it all away I would.

“His life revolves around hospitals and medication. We just have to take one step at a time and one day at a time.

“We will not let it beat us.”

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