Kent

Folkestone girl dies of rare immune condition

Melanie Cottle
Image caption Melanie's condition was diagnosed at Christmas and had six months of chemotherapy

An 11-year-old Kent girl, believed to be one of five people in the UK with a condition affecting the immune system, has died.

Melanie Cottle from Folkestone suffered from Chediak Higashi Syndrome, which her doctor had not seen for 20 years.

The syndrome causes pale coloured hair, eyes and skin and increased infections in the lungs and mucous membranes.

Her father, Paul left a message on Facebook saying she had died after suffering three heart attacks.

She "left us peacefully in no pain", he wrote.

"The whole family would like to thank all you nice guys that have supported us."

Melanie was diagnosed with the genetic condition at Christmas and had been receiving treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

Last month her family appealed for people with the blood type B positive to come forward as she was in need of blood donations for a bone marrow operation.

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