Five-year-old hero Seth Lane gives a Superman salute as he prepares to undergo a life-saving bone marrow transplant – from his DAD.
The youngster, who lives in a ‘bubble’ due to a rare immune disorder, underwent the procedure and bravely said he was getting better thanks to “Daddy’s magic.”
Seth was born without an immune system and has lived in a sterile germ-free environment for more than half of his short life.
Following an unsuccessful bone marrow transplant his own cells turned on him, and since January he has been forced to live in a single hospital room which he can’t leave.
Despite the disappointment, Seth was scheduled for another bone marrow transplant from his dad Nik.
He captured the hearts of the nation when he recorded an adorable video asking people to wear his favourite colour yellow to give him luck for the procedure in May this year.
His parents Leanne and Nik, from Corby, Northants., were astonished when the video went viral and racked up nearly 2,500,000 views on YouTube in a matter of days.
Hundreds of thousands of strangers worldwide pledged to wear yellow and send photos which will be used to decorate Seth’s hospital room to show he’s not alone.
Moments before the procedure, Seth said a ‘thank you’ to his army of supporters by posing for a picture on his hospital bed wearing a superhero eye mask and cape.
Leanne, a full-time mum-of-two, said: “We never meant to start any sort of campaign, and only expected friends and family to join in.
“It was overwhelming the way it took off.
“I don’t think there is a single country in the world that hasn’t got someone who has got involved.
“Seth had the transplant on May 1 and before it started he sat up in bed and wanted to put on his superhero mask and cape and made the Superman sign with his hand.
“We are incredibly proud of him.
“He knew the transplant would make him feel worse before he felt better but he just said to us ‘it’s okay, Daddy’s magic is still finding its home, I’ll feel better soon.’
“We still have potentially very rough times ahead. Nothing has changed in terms of risks and expectations, but he is not critically ill which is what I had prepared myself for.
“Seth still has no working immune system. The cells are in but they are not working yet.
“We still need to take it day by day. We do not know what is causing his high temperatures and we do not know how his kidneys are going to cope with the ongoing medication.
“We also do not know how Seth’s body will react to the stem cells, or how the new cells with react to Seth.”
Little Seth was admitted to hospital aged six months with an extreme chest infection and his parents were told he had severe combined immunodeficiency.
Known as ‘bubble boy disease’ it is caused by a mutated gene and means the body’s antibodies can’t respond to infections, leaving sufferers extremely vulnerable to germs.
The brave tot was transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital where he had a bone marrow transplant from donor umbilical cord cells.
But he was kept in a ‘bubble’ – unable to interact with children, go to nursery or play outside in parks – for two years while his body got stronger.
Leanne, who has a five-month-old son Hugo with husband Nik, 31, added: “He had no contact with other children until he was two-and-a-half.
“We would go out in the pram and I would have to put the rain cover over him with a little fan inside – people probably thought I was mad.”
But after just a couple of years of ‘normality’ – after Seth had started school and made his first best friends – his body turned on him in October.
When he had his transplant as a baby he developed graft versus host disease – where his donated cells saw his own body cells as foreign and attacked them.
Initially is only affected his skin – leaving him with painful red patches – but in October it turned on his own bone marrow, once again wiping out his entire immune system.
Seth returned to his ‘bubble’ – an ultra-hygienic single room at Newcastle’s Great North Children’s Hospital – in a bid to keep him free from potentially lethal infections, in January.
If the latest transplant is deemed a success, Seth is likely to have to stay in hospital for a year before being allowed home.