Urgent plea for blood donor to help ill Telford six-year-old
The family of a six-year-old boy with a rare blood condition is making a desperate plea for potential bone marrow donors to come forward to help save the life of their son.
Ihsan Khan of Leegomery spends much of his time in hospital since being diagnosed with aplastic anaemia last month, which affects his blood supply.
It means his bone marrow and stem cell can't produce enough red or white blood cells, and his family was devastated when told none of them were a match for a donation.
Now his mother Assia is appealing for anyone who is a match to reach out and donate, to help Ihsan or another suffering patient.
Assia, a dental nurse, said she suspected something when her son began coming home from school with several large bruises. He told her he had been getting in fights and a meeting was held at school to resolve the issues, but Assia decided to take him to hospital when he later developed conspicuous red patches under his skin.
On March 8, they went to the Princess Royal Hospital where doctors carried out tests on the boy, and gave Assia some bad news.
She said: "The consultant sat me down and said it could be one of two things – they said it could be leukaemia or a very serious infection.
"I was just in shock. I just thought I had taken him in because of these spots and they would check him out and do the blood tests and tell me it was all fine.
"Then they turn around and tell me it may be leukaemia."
After an agonising wait over the weekend, the family went to the Birmingham Children's Hospital where Ihsan was tested again.
"They didn't find any cancer cells," said Assia, "but they diagnosed him with aplastic anaemia on March 12.
"From that day on our lives haven't been the same. I haven't returned to work, we have been in and out of hospital, he has had to have blood transfusions.
"I just can't see him like this. He is normally a very happy and active child and seeing him in hospital constantly is very heartbreaking.
"He needs a bone marrow transplant and unfortunately we can't find a donor. We were very hopeful that me, his dad or his sister are a match but we are not."
Ihsan's sister Khadija, nine, had a closer match but not '10/10', so the transplant would not be risk-free. The medical team caring for Ihsan is now looking for anyone unrelated who is a closer match for bone marrow or stem cells.
Assia appealed to those who can donate, saying: "It will be a simple donation of blood and with the blood they can do a stem cell transplant, and if you are a match it will save our Ihsan's life. We will be forever grateful and it would mean everything to us.
"If you are not a match it will surely save somebody else's life and you will be making a massive difference to them. Keep our Ihsan in your prayers."
To learn more about the British Bone Marrow Registry, visit nhsbt.nhs.uk/british-bone-marrow-registry/how-can-i-help or enquire when you next give blood.