It's the Christmas gift one little boy’s family thought they would never receive – a life-saving transplant after a worldwide search for a donor.
But miraculously, two-year-old Gaurav Bains has finally had the operation he desperately needed.
His family have endured a torturous ordeal as the months counted down to a Christmas deadline to find a bone marrow donor with a 100 per cent match.
The young lad had always been ill after being born premature, but earlier this year, after a series of chest infections, he was diagnosed with Monosomy 7 Syndrome, a rare blood condition.
Then in the summer, his family was told his best chance of a healthy life would be if a donor was found before Christmas
Had a match not been found, Gaurav’s condition meant he would have been likely to develop an aggressive form of childhood leukaemia, which he may not have survived.
But thanks to a huge campaign, and the determination of his family, thousands of people signed up to the donation register from around the country and the world.
And this week the youngster finally had the operation that could save his life.
The whole procedure, which saw donated stem cells passed into his body, only took 90 minutes, and now his family, from Alexandra Road in Tipton, are optimistic.
Dad Sunny Bains, aged 31 and a shopkeeper, said: “Everything went alright and he didn’t have any side effects.
“It now takes about two or three weeks until the cells start reproducing, so we will know in a few weeks’ time if they are doing what they are supposed to. Then the next 100 days are key, to ensure there’s no rejection by the body and things like that.”
Gaurav will now have to spend the next two months or so in an isolation room at Birmingham Children’s Hospital while the stem cells start to build him a new immune system, with only one parent allowed into his room with him at a time. Incredibly, as the cells take hold, Gaurav’s blood type will convert to that of his donor’s.
Mr Bains was full of thanks for the anonymous donor, as they chose to have the more painful of two procedures to collect the stem cells – having them injected out of the hip bone – but one which will ensure there is more chance of success. Mr Bains said: “Whoever it is has been amazing.”Subscribe to our Newsletter