Posted in wpzoom Around the Web on December 23, 2013 5:22 pm / no comments
A 9-year-old boy has given his little brother a life-saving Christmas present by offering him a bone marrow transplant.
Kiran Merrick donated bone marrow to save his five-year-old brother, Sam, who has chronic lung disease and a rare immune deficiency.
The boys’ parents, Louise, 32, and Paul, 38, of Waterlooville, Hampshire, have been told there is an 80 per cent chance the transplant will cure their youngest son.
Mother-of-four, Mrs Merrick said: “We were all tested but Kiran was the one who had a 10 out of 10 match, which is the best match there could be. Kiran told us he was scared so we talked to him in depth about it and said that if he didn’t want to do it we would understand.
“But he said he wanted to help Sam and started having numerous tests. It was hard work with Sam and Kiran both in hospital but Kiran has done us both proud. When Sam is ill now he always offers to give him more bone marrow to help his brother.
“Sam’s disease has meant he’s caught more than the usual amount of childhood viruses and infections, with the severity much worse.
Sam (front right) was born prematurely at just 26 weeks. He has a weak immune system and has had so many viruses that his lungs are full of scar tissue. He is pictured with his brothers Kiran (back right), Liam, 7, (front left) and Jordan, 13, (back left)
“But Sam has defied all the odds in so many ways and has many more good days now. All the boys adore him and love spending quality time with him.”
Sam, who also has two other brothers, Liam and Jordan, was born prematurely at just 26 weeks.
He has a weak immune system and his mother says he has suffered from so many viruses that his lungs are full of scar tissue meaning he has lung disease. Before the bone marrow transplant, he had to have 60 per cent of his right lung removed and was very isolated due to his illness.
He had to have a rain coat over his buggy when he went out in case he breathed in germs. Now, he is able to go to the shops, attend school and play with friends. Mrs Merrick, who is Sam’s full-time carer, said: “Sam fights infections a lot better and we are noticing a huge difference in him.
“This year we reached numerous milestones such as being able to take him to a Santa’s grotto and although he went really quiet in front of Santa he was chuffed to bits to receive a book.
“He has also just started school full time and has been swimming for the first time. This is a huge step in the progress Sam is making and a huge part of childhood memories that he has been missing out on.”
The family are now hoping to raise £30,000 to buy a caravan in Pagham, West Sussex, to provide much needed breaks for other families with sick children.