Desperate mum launches appeal for donor to save daughter’s life

Avas devastated mum Marie, 33, is urging people from around the world to get tested as they desperately try to find a life-saving match. Picture: Hemedia
Avas devastated mum Marie, 33, is urging people from around the world to get tested as they desperately try to find a life-saving match. Picture: Hemedia
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A DESPERATE mum has launched a global appeal for a bone marrow donor to save the life of her three-year-old daughter, who needs a stem cell transplant or she will die.

Little Ava Stark has an incredibly rare blood condition and needs a donor whose marrow can satsify 10 out of 10 genetic markers.

After a search of the register worldwide - which has about 25 million people on it - only one suitable candidate was found.

Ava was due to have a bone marrow transplant next month after the donor agreed to proceed, but 10 days ago the family learned the donor had pulled out.

And now Ava’s devastated mum Marie, 33, is urging people from around the world to get tested as they desperately try to find a life-saving match.

She said: “I need everyone who can to get tested because they could save my daughter’s life.”

Ava has a condition called inherited bone marrow failure and needs weekly platelet transfusions and two blood transfusions a month - both from donors - while she awaits a transplant

Marie, a customer service adviser from Lochgelly, Fife, and mum-of-two, said her daughter was constantly falling ill and even got foot and mouth before she was finally diagnosed in April.

In March, she brought up a blood clot through her nose and was rushed to hospital by ambulance when the next day she started throwing up blood.

After undergoing tests and being transferred to Edinburgh Sick Kids Hospital, doctors thought she had leukaemia and needed a blood transfusion.

But after not finding a leukaemia cell in her body they thought it was aplastic anaemia before finally coming to the conclusion she had inherited bone marrow failure, leading to the launch of their hunt for a donor.

Marie said she is unsure about the future but is determined to try to save her little girl - who, even with a bone marrow transplant, has only a 20 per cent chance of survival due to her condition.

She added: “Because of her low platelet count, something as simple as brushing her teeth turns into a bloodbath.

“She loves animals and wanted to go to Blair Drummond Safari Park but, because she basically has no immune system, she couldn’t in case she caught something from the animals.

“We even had to get rid of the family dog. Ava loves her toys, though.

“If you ask the nurses, they will tell you she is constantly the happy one.”

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