Rare blood boy from Hoylake makes a full recovery

Jack Hayhoe Jack Hayhoe has been looking out of the window waiting for Santa

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A Wirral mother wants to thank the donor of the bone marrow that she said "saved her son's life".

Two years ago, Mandy Hayhoe, 34, did not think she would see her son playing with his Christmas presents like any other happy child.

Her son Jack has Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, a condition in which he does not produce enough blood platelets.

Now, after a bone marrow transplant and months of specialised after care, Jack is like any other two-year-old.

"I can't thank the person who donated their bone marrow enough for the new life it has given Jack.

"He has spent much of his life in and out of hospital having blood transfusions and operations, but now he is doing really, really well," Mrs Hayhoe said.

Before the operation the toddler had just three blood platelets - when he needed between 150 and 450. Without the transplant he may not have lived beyond the age of 10.

Blood platelet shortage

Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome affects only one in four million people. Their blood may not clot easily, they will be prone to catching severe infections, and will need frequent blood transfusions.

The only hope of a cure is through a bone marrow transplant or by stem cell transplantation from umbilical cord blood that has been banked from baby donors.

Fortunately for the Hayhoe family, who are from Hoylake, within seven months of being on the donor list matching bone marrow was found.

"We couldn't believe it," Mrs Hayhoe said, "Some people are on the waiting list for years and some don't even find a match.

Jack Hayhoe Little Jack was in and out of hospital having transfusions

"We were lucky enough to be offered two. He had the operation back in July last year and it was a success."

Now Jack is producing 100% donor cells - which means his body is working normally.

Before he had the operation, he had to rely on others donating blood platelets - at a time when there was a shortage.

Back in early 2009, the Hayhoes campaigned to highlight the need for blood platelets. Donors can give their blood platelets as easily as giving blood.

Now they do not have to worry.

"He has been so excited for Christmas Day," his mother said, "He has spent the past couple of weeks looking out of the window waiting for Father Christmas."

In January he will be back in hospital, and hopefully, she said, they will be told to come back for an appointment only once a year instead of the routine check-ups.

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