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Brave Bradford dad Donovan O'Brien loses fight for life
A Bradford dad has died before fundraising friends could get him potentially life-saving treatment which is not available on the NHS.
Although Donovan O’Brien’s friends had raised more than £6,000 towards getting him the drug Alisertib, his condition worsened before he could be treated and he died in Bradford Royal Infirmary on Sunday with his wife Debbie and other family by his side.
The 25-year-old, of Allerton, had been told his only chance of survival was to have a bone marrow transplant, but he had to be in remission first. His family had researched Alisertib and believed it could have helped him get well enough for a transplant but needed £5,440 to pay for it.
Mr O’Brien had been fighting hepatosplenic T-cell non-hodgkins lymphoma (HSTCL), an aggressive form of the disease which affects the spleen and liver.
He had suffered four bouts of chemotherapy without a good response and had another session last Thursday before he deteriorated, said his friend David Lord, who raised £900 by organising a five-a-side tournament and a charity auction and raffle in Eccleshill.
More than 50 of his friends did a sponsored walk from Bradford city centre to Leeds city centre at the end of November and another friend Dorian Smith organised a club night at Sway in Sunbridge Road, Bradford.
Mr Lord, who knew Mr O’Brien since their days at St Bede’s Grammar School, Heaton, said: “Donny never came back out of hospital, he’d gone into have transfusions and needed them constantly. His blood just wasn’t working. He seemed fine enough walking round and chatting when he was having them but he had chemo on Thursday and never got over that. His wife and his mum were with him when he died.”
Mr Lord said he now intends the money he raised to go into a trust fund for his friend’s two-year-old son Riley.
“I’m not sure what will happen to the rest of the money,” he said.
“The family will need time to adjust to their loss before they can start to try and move forward. I know they will want to do good with it.”
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