Transplant girl, 4, wants to be nurse
A YEAR ago Daisy Smullen was a very poorly little girl.
But 12 months on from her life-saving bone marrow transplant she is looking forward to a brighter future.
Daisy, four, from Bangor, was just three years old when she became sick with a mystery illness.
She displayed all the signs of cancer but doctors at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Hospital could not determine a definite diagnosis.
Daisy’s mother, Kelly, 19, said: “It started in November 2015.
“She went into Alder Hey with a stomach bug and a fever and no one could work out what was wrong with her but she got better and was let out.
“Then a few weeks later in January it started again and she ended up in intensive care.
“She had all the symptoms of cancer but nothing was showing.”
Eventually she was diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosisor (HLH) – a rare condition that affects the immune system.
After she was diagnosed Daisy received chemotherapy for a few weeks.
Kelly, a carrier of the gene, said she felt guilty about passing a mutated form of the gene that causes HLH onto her daughter.
She said: “They found out it was me that carried it so I felt awful. Every one in 112 people carry the mutation. Both me and Patrick, her father, carry it so it was almost inevitable but I felt so guilty.”
Doctors told the family Daisy needed a bone marrow transplant and last July a ten out of ten match was found for her in Germany. By now the youngster was being treated at Manchester Children’s Hospital.
Kelly said: “It was all very quick, they had to start straight away. It was an eight-week procedure. Your bone marrow is like your immune system so she had to have intensive chemotherapy.”
While Daisy was being treated, Kelly found out she was pregnant with her second child and last year Jorgie, a little sister for Daisy was born.
“I didn’t know how to react. I just got on with it,“said Kelly.
During Daisy’s time at the hospital in Manchester she and her mother developed a strong bond with staff.
“The staff at the hospital were so good they really gave us the support we needed and Daisy has said that she wants to be a nurse when she grows up.”
And as Kelly and Daisy celebrate a year on from her life-saving treatment she has a message for donors.
She said: “What they do is amazing. Without a donor Daisy would not be here today.
“Every donor is a match for someone else.
“So everyone should think about doing it because they will save somebody’s life.”
Daisy with mum Kelly Hughes and sister Jorgie