Mother’s plea for donors after death of daughter

Fiona and Simon Hart with son Jacob.
Fiona and Simon Hart with son Jacob.
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A young mother who was separated from her newborn daughter after being diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer has died.

Fiona Hart, 32, from Islay, made a nationwide appeal for bone marrow donors in a bid to be reunited with baby Honor and two-year-old son Jacob.

Although it is too late for Mrs Hart, her mother has made an appeal for others to enlist as bone marrow and blood stem cell donors in her memory.

Linda McArthur, speaking from her home in Bowmore, said: “We do want to push that, we still want people to donate, to help others. They can do this by contacting the Anthony Nolan Trust, or Delete Blood Cancer.”

Mrs McArthur said her daughter had died in Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital on Thursday, with her husband Simon, her mother, father and father-in-law by her side.

She said the psychiatric nurse, who worked at Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow, had fought her illness for more than a year and added: “She was a fighter, she was a strong, strong girl.

“She was the only person in the world to have this particular form of lymphoma. That’s why they couldn’t find a cure, they even had scientists in Japan trying to help.”

Medical specialists tried their best to help but the former Islay High School pupil had a number of setbacks.

Mrs McArthur said: “Fiona had so many slaps in the face, they would say, we are going to try this Fiona and then go, ‘that is not suitable for you’.”

In the weeks before her death Mrs Hart had been taking part in trials in Manchester.

Mrs McArthur said: “There were trials in Manchester, they took her blood to America, took her T cells and cultivated it. They are tiny, but they grow inside you.”

The trial did not work and her body reacted badly. Her mother said: “They didn’t know if she was allergic to the T cells or the medicine she was on. Her immune system was so shocked they said they couldn’t even do a bone marrow transplant.

“It was Tuesday last week that the consultant in Glasgow said to Fiona that she was not fit enough to go down to Manchester again, that the T cells were not doing any good and they were going to have to take her off the trial.”

Mrs Hart caught pneumonia and died two days later. Her funeral will be held at 11:30am on Saturday at Bowmore Round Church, Islay.