THE mother of a one-year-old toddler spoke of her joy yesterday after his life was saved by the gift of bone marrow – from his big sister.
Brave little Oliver Boyd was born with a rare genetic condition called Omenn syndrome and doctors warned his parents that unless he had a successful bone marrow transplant, he would not survive a year.
Following a series of tests his sister Abigail, nine, was found to be “a 100 per cent perfect gene match” for the transplant.
After half a year in hospital, Oliver’s body began to accept his sisters cells. Doctors said he would not have survived if the cells hadn’t come from a sibling with such a high gene match. Heather Boyd, 32, of Auchmithie, Angus, said: “I’m very, very proud of Abigail and I think this has brought the two of them close together already, even though Oliver is so young.
“He’s going to have a long recovery as he’s still on a large amount of drugs, he’s on oxygen and still gets fed through tubes, but the main thing is, he will make a full recovery.
“The doctors say he will lead a normal, active life, and it’s all because of Abigail.”
Doctors told Heather and husband Paul, 38, a bone marrow transplant was the only cure. Heather explained: “A sibling donor drastically reduces the risk of post-transplant problems, but unfortunately Oliver was so weak he was still affected.
“It led to a point where he was on the borderline of death and we were told had it not been for a sibling donor with a 100 per cent match, he would have deteriorated further, to the point of death.”