Mum ‘so proud’ of brave Bran­don

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page - BY CH­ERYL MULLIN ch­[email protected]­i­tymir­ror.com @cez­mullin

ASCHOOLBOY wowed his fam­ily and friends by com­plet­ing his first sprint race af­ter hav­ing a new treat­ment for rick­ets.

Bran­don Dunn had strug­gled with sim­ple tasks such as walk­ing to school due to the con­di­tion, which he was di­ag­nosed with at just two years old.

Now five, the Skelmers­dale young­ster un­der­went a pi­o­neer­ing treat­ment for the con­di­tion which, due to low lev­els of phos­phate in the blood, leads to poorly formed bones and bone de­for­mi­ties in­clud­ing bow legs.

The con­di­tion can also cause bone pain, short stature and some­times tooth ab­scesses.

Mum Donna Dunn, who also suf­fers from the rare ge­netic con­di­tion, said: “I first no­ticed prob­lems with Bran­don’s legs when he started walk­ing. By three, the bones had started to bend.

“Bran­don un­der­went more than five hours of surgery, which in­volved break­ing the bones and straight­en­ing the legs with splints. He was in a wheel­chair for 12 weeks.

“When he started walk­ing again, he still strug­gled to bend his knees as he re­lated the move­ment to pain.”

Bran­don found it dif­fi­cult to take his phos­phate med­i­ca­tion due to the taste, even when his mum and dad tried to dis­guise it with juice. He needs to take his med­i­ca­tion four times a day for it to be ef­fec­tive – and a spe­cial vi­ta­min D prepa­ra­tions on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

It was the fam­ily’s only op­tion un­til they were of­fered the chance to take part in the trial of a new type of treat­ment in April.

The treat­ment in­volves fort­nightly in­jec­tions of a new dis­ease spe­cific an­ti­body, which binds to the ex­ces­sive chem­i­cal in the blood (FGF23), re­duc­ing phos­phate loss

Just months later, Bran­don com­pleted his first ever race and re­ceived a school star award for his ef­forts.

Donna said: “Bran­don has never been able to fully par­tic­i­pate in PE lessons with his friends be­fore, let alone fin­ish a race.

“Since start­ing on the new ther­apy, he is a lot more ac­tive and happy, suf­fers much less from tired­ness and bone pain.

“He ran the whole 80 me­tres. He wasn’t the fastest, but he wasn’t that far be­hind. I was so proud!”

Bran­don’s younger brother Tyler has the same con­di­tion and has also been treated with the in­jec­tions.

Donna is hope­ful the boys will have an im­proved fu­ture with a re­duc­tion in long-term pain as a re­sult of the treat­ment.

She said: “I re­ally wish this treat­ment had been avail­able when I was younger. The only treat­ment avail­able for me was phos­phate, which made me phys­i­cally sick.

“I still can’t cross my legs. If I’ve been on my feet all day my legs just give way.

“I’m al­ways twist­ing my an­kles, which means I end up walk­ing on crutches.”

Donna added: “It’s so great to see the boys run­ning about, keep­ing up with class­mates.”

Alder Hey is one of the first chil­dren’s hos­pi­tals in the UK to test the new treat­ment.

Bran­don Dunn has taken part in his first race af­ter be­ing treated for rick­ets at Alder Hey

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