Cord blood stem cell transplant success for baby’s leukaemia

A baby in the UK was in desperate need of a stem cell transplant for a rare form of leukaemia. He is now recovering well, after receiving a stem cell transplant from umbilical cord blood.

One-year-old Harri Stickler, from Aberdare, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia a few months ago. He was given only a 20-30% chance of survival. But after his mother, Bethan, appealed to stem cell donors on the Anthony Nolan register, she found a suitable donor for her son’s life-saving treatment.

“I couldn’t believe it, they said it’ll be hard to find a match, it was just such a relief” she said.

“You don’t realise how many people need a transplant until you’re in it yourself. He’s got something going on with his stomach, so he’s got surgery tomorrow, but other than that he’s great. His immune system’s so low, anything could happen. He’s so happy though, he’s always smiling at me and he loves dancing.”

The cord blood stem cells used in Harri’s transplant are known to cure patients with certain types of blood cancer and other immune deficiency illnesses. After going through weekly chemotherapy, tests have confirmed that Harri’s transplant was 100% successful.