Express & Star

Four-year-old boy to undergo second stem cell transplant operation

A four-year-old boy with a life-limiting metabolic disease is to undergo a second stem cell transplant.

Last updated
Gunner, from Bridgnorth, is to have a new operation on December 11

Gunner Lewis-Vale from Highley, near Bridgnorth, underwent the first pioneering treatment when he was just 18-months old but his family discovered last month that the stem cell transplant had failed.

The youngster was diagnosed with a the rare mucopolysaccharide disease, MPS Type 1 Hurler, which means his body cannot convert sugar into necessary protein in the body.

While there is no cure for the life-limiting disease, his stem cell treatment in 2021 from a donated umbilical cord gave Gunner given a new lease of life.

However, Gunner's mother, Holly Lewis-Vale said the family were "saddened" to discover earlier this month, following a raft of tests, that the transplant had began failing.

She said: "It’s no longer producing the enzyme his body needs to slow down his MPS condition and protect his brain."

But she added that an "incredible" new donor had been found, and the youngster was set for a new operation next month.

"He is due to be admitted Monday, December 11, and will undergo surgery before Christmas," said Holly.

As he awaits his new operation, Gunner and his mother are now isolating at their family home in Highley, which they share with dad James and Gunner's sister, Daisy.

But the surgery will see the youngster have to spend Christmas in hospital.

"Father Christmas will be delivering Gunner's presents to hospital this year," said Holly, adding that she wished to thank the family of the donated umbilical cord that has provided Gunner with stem cells for his transplant.

A GoFundMe page set up to raise funds for blood cancer charities Anthony Nolan and DKMS, as well as to support Gunner and his family through his treatments, is available at

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.