A youngster with a life threatening blood disease has been completely cured – after receiving his little sister’s “magic blood”.
Little Haseeb Ahmed, six, is enjoying life and bursting with energy for the first time in his life.
But his sprightliness is a far cry from how he used to be, with his condition meaning his blood struggled to carry oxygen around his body resulting in spells of tiredness.
Football lover Haseeb was born with rare disorder beta thalassemia major and was in and out of hospital receiving regular blood transfusions.
The family were told their only help would be from a bone marrow and stem cell donor, with a match found in Haseeb’s little sister Hannah, three.
The majority of Hannah’s stem cells were taken from her umbilical cord as a baby and frozen for two years before being transformed into healthy blood cells – which Haseeb called “magic blood”.
Bone marrow was also taken to top up the cells.
Now months on from the transplant in June last year, Haseeb’s family have had the all clear.
“We’re all relieved”, said mum Fozia, 31.
“He’s much better now and back to his true self, bouncier and happier. He’s just a normal little boy who loves his football, cricket and Lego.
“He had a blood test last month to make sure everything was functioning properly and it came back with the all clear.”
“Before, his blood cells weren’t carrying enough iron about his body. He had no energy and no appetite.”
Haseeb was diagnosed with the condition days after he was born following a routine prick test and from then on has had monthly transfusions.
The treatment meant regular hospital trips for Fozia and Haseeb’s father Afzaal, 28, from Rotherham, South Yorks.
“He kept having to go into hospital. It was quite upsetting for him. He’s much happier now”, Fozia added.
“Hannah is too young to understand everything but she will when she grows up.
“This has changed our family, it’s been fantastic news for us all.”
Following the transplant, Fozia said: “Haseeb says he has Hannah’s magic blood, I’m sure she will find a way to hold that over him in the future!”
Beta thalassemia is a rare condition that reduces the production of haemoglobin, a protein in the blood which contains iron.
The condition leads to a lack of oxygen in the body, and results in tiredness, pale skin and weakness.
Symptoms of the disease usually appear in the first two years of a child’s life, and children can develop life-threatening anaemia.
People with the condition also have an increased chance of developing abnormal blood clots.