A cuddle at last for boy who lived in a bubble
Monday 08 December 1997
Jack Wheatley's condition meant that he could not be cuddled by his parents because his body's immune system could not combat even the most basic ofgerms. The three-year-old was diagnosed as suffering from Hyper IGM, an inherited immuno- deficiency condition, when he was six months old. Since then, he has had to live in a sterile tent into which was pumped sterile air.
Around his bed at Newcastle General Hospital was a red line beyond which his parents, Jeanette and Stuart, and any other visitors, could not pass. If they wanted to hold or cuddle their son, they had to be scrubbed down first by medical staff.
Jack underwent a bone marrow transplant to try to combat the illness, and doctors say that it is the first time in Europe that an unrelated donor has been successfully used.
Mrs Wheatley said: "Two weeks ago I hugged and kissed him for the first time in six months and it was wonderful. We are looking forward to getting home for Christmas ... we have been given the best present ever."
Jack's older brother, Ryan, 11, also suffers from the condition but Jack had shown no signs of it until he was six months old. Doctors are hoping they can perform a similar operation on Ryan.
"After the problems with Ryan suffering from Hyper IGM we just thought `oh no here we go again'," said Mrs Wheatley. "Normal life just came to an end."
The disease, which only affects boys, is rare, with only about 30 to 40 cases in the UK. It leaves the body's immune system unable to kill germs properly and the body susceptible to infections.
Doctors at King's College Hospital, London, have successfully performed a liver transplant on a baby just five days old. The baby, thought to be the world's youngest recipient of a transplanted liver, will be named by the hospital today. The hospital has performed 13 liver transplants on babies under the age of three months.
Threat of 'catastrophic cascade of collisions' involving 300,000 pieces of rubbish must be averted, warn scientists
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Oxford is the least affordable city in the UK, where houses cost 11 times local salaries
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 North Korea elections: Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 5 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client is a leading digital agency bu...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Charter Selection: Global leader in its respective ...
£130 - £161 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Do you have a qualificatio...
£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: The school is much la...