Desperately ill toddler Tia Pugh needs bone marrow transplant to save her life

Tia Pugh is believed to be the only person in the world suffering from a unique combination of illnesses

A "darling" three-year-old girl suffering from a rare combination of illnesses is in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant to save her life, doctors have said.

Tia Pugh, who suffers from an extremely rare form of immune deficiency - STAT1 deficiency - is believed to be the only person in the world to have a tuberculosis-like illness called mycobacteriym malmoense at the same time.

Despite months of hospital treatment and tests, medics have said that her only chance of a cure is a bone marrow transplant.

But her unique background - her father, Nick, is from Worcester, and her mother, Yupa, is Thai with Cambodian heritage - may make finding a genetic match extremely difficult.

Her parents have called for people to sign up to the bone marrow register to help Tia - who loves Peppa Pig and the Muppets - experience a childhood "full of fun and joy".

"Tia is our darling little daughter and it is heartbreaking to watch her suffer like this," Mr Pugh said.

"Now that the doctors have identified what's wrong we can at last get moving on finding a cure.

"But we have to be quick, and that cure is out of our hands until we can find a match."

He added: "All I can say to the people out there is please help us however you can, by signing up to the register or setting up a recruitment event in your area.

"Think how you would feel if it was your daughter, or your son, and you needed a stranger to help them survive. Childhood is supposed to be full of fun and joy, and that's all we want for our Tia.

"Please help us help her, by signing up to the bone marrow register."

Yupa and Nick Pugh with their three-year old daughter, Tia Doctors have tried different combinations of drugs to help Tia, who had a blood transfusion before she was two.

For months, she had to go to the hospital at 7am and 11pm every day to receive vital medicines.

Nurses visit her home daily at 11am and 3pm to help care for her, and Tia's mother has been trained to administer her antibiotics at home.

Tia, who "loves singing and dancing to Peppa Pig, the Muppets' Mahna-Mahna song and Fatboy Slim's Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat when she has the energy", is also fed through an intravenous tube each night.

Anthony Nolan, the UK charity which manages the bone marrow register, has urged people to sign up as donors, especially those of South East Asian and mixed-Asian heritage.

Henny Braund, Anthony Nolan chief executive, said: "Tia's situation is so difficult that it's hard to hear about.

"But it is precisely this kind of circumstance that Anthony Nolan was set up to help with. Over the last 40 years we have seen thousands of caring, selfless people put their names on the register and thousands of lives have been saved as a result.

"Now it is vital that we get the message out, especially to the South East Asian community, so that we can find a match for Tia as soon as possible. Please help however you can."

Every year in the UK, around 1,800 people in the UK need a bone marrow or stem cell transplant - usually their last chance of survival.

People from black, Asian, and ethnic minority backgrounds have a 40% chance of finding a suitable bone marrow donor, compared with White northern Europeans, who have a 90% chance.

Donations usually take place during an outpatient appointment, in a procedure that is similar to donating blood.

You can join the bone marrow register here

Visit Tia's dedicated Facebook page here

Additional reporting by PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Recruitment Genius: Gas Installation Support Engineer

£20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Support Engi...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence