Transplant hope for baby Thea

Thea with her elder sister Ava

Thea with her elder sister Ava

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Ilkley/Otley Reporter

A baby who has a rare genetic disorder which could shorten her life is having a bone marrow transplant in a bid to save her life.

Seven-month-old Thea Paterson was diagnosed with MPS1 Hurler syndrome earlier this year, which only occurs in around ten in one million children.

Without treatment her development and growth would eventually halt and her life expectancy would fall to between nine and ten years old.

At around the age of three she would start to regress and lose her ability in areas including walking and talking.

But since being diagnosed on January 10, Thea, who lives with parents Samantha and Richard Paterson and two-year-old sister Ava in Ilkley, has been in the hands of medical experts at Manchester Royal Children’s Hospital.

She has been undergoing vital Enzyme Replacement Therapy (ERT) and on Saturday was admitted to hospital to begin chemotherapy in preparation for the bone marrow transplant on Tuesday.

The bone marrow transplant will be from donated umbilical cord blood and Thea will be kept in isolation. Only four people – her parents and aunt Katy Hemsley-Roome and grandma Barbara Edwards – will be allowed direct contact with her.

If the process is successful it will enable Thea to start producing the missing enzyme herself and could give her a normal life expectancy.

Mr Paterson, who is the general manager of The Crescent Inn in Ilkley, said: “The consultants at Manchester Royal Children’s Hospital are the world’s leading specialists and we are very lucky to be in the hands of these experts. We have been truly amazed at how they and the NHS in general have responded and helped Thea since she was first referred into their care.”

Mr Paterson said watching Thea endure chemotherapy was not easy and was making her miserable, but there was no alternative.

“Thea deserves every chance there is to lead as normal and as long a life as possible,” he said.

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