Bone marrow hope fails as Aillidh loses fight for life
AN eight-year-old Scots girl has lost her battle with leukaemia just weeks after receiving a pioneering bone marrow transplant.
After receiving stem cells from an anonymous American donor, Aillidh Kinnaird, from the Cowal peninsula in Argyll, contracted a lung virus and died from breathing difficulties late on Saturday night.
Her devastated mother posted news of her final hours on Facebook.
The eight-year-old made headlines across Scotland as a huge hunt was launched for a donor to cure her of the disease.
Her family were given a ray of hope earlier this year when a donor was found, and Aillidh was given a transplant of stem cells from the umbilical cord of an anonymous donor in May.
But it became increasingly clear in recent days that Aillidh was suffering from complications following the treatment and she contracted human metapneumo virus.
The transplant was never guaranteed to work, and left her immune system very weak.
Last year only two patients had similar transplants in Scotland.
Aillidh’s mother Leigh, 40, kept a vigil at her daughter’s bedside, as father Andrew, 34, looked after her sister and brother Roisin, 6, and three-year-old Struan.
The Sandbank Primary pupil was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in November last year.
At the end of last month, her mother said: “I’ll put it bluntly: her life has never been in greater peril, although she is still her fighting self, and she needs every single prayer, candle, vibe, chant, meditation, whatever you can all fling at it, to live. No fight is hopeless until it is fought.”
Aillidh was moved on to a ventilator at Yorkhill hospital in Glasgow and initially showed some signs of improving.
Leigh said last Friday: “We now have a name for her nemesis.
“It is the human metapneumo virus she has had for a while that is the most likely source of her continued respiratory problems.
“The graft is trying desperately to work.”
But the worst was confirmed late last week when Leigh posted: “A priest has been paged to administer Last Rites.”
She added later: “She has been anointed. As a family and together with her doctor, we prayed and commended her soul to God and await His Will.”
The transplant always carried the risk of harming Aillidh rather than helping her, but was the only alternative to letting the deadly disease take its course.
Leigh posted “she is hanging in there” on Saturday, as her daughter showed some signs of rallying.
But tragically Aillidh would not last the night.
Leigh said on Sunday morning: “Aillidh Christine Kinnaird died of complications from treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia at around 11:30 on 8 July 2012.
“She was surrounded by family and friends and, most of all, love.”
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