Rhys has setback on fifth birthday

Rhys Daniels, who suffers from Batten's disease and made medical history 16 months ago when he received a bone-marrow transplant from an unrelated donor, had a setback on his fifth birthday yesterday.

The illness, which causes dementia and blindness, usually proves fatal by the age of seven. Rhys's father, Barry, 37, said his son's condition was deteriorating and he was having trouble walking and talking. Rhys, whose sister Charly, seven, is suffering the later stages of the illness, celebrated his birthday at his home in Epping, Essex.

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