Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

His Cheeky Smile Is Back. He C an Fight Any Battle He Comes Across

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

His Cheeky Smile Is Back. He C an Fight Any Battle He Comes Across

Article excerpt

Byline: Craig Thompson Health Reporter craig.thompson01@trinitymirror.com

TIME was running out for young Ale Pennington until an international bone marrow donor stepped into save his life.

Ale had his world turned upside down when he was diagnosed with a rare condition that aects just one in 350,000 children.

It meant the seven-year-old was put on the Anthony Nolan register, sparking a worldwide search to nd a suitable bone marrow donor who could save him.

And after spending two months in an isolation unit at a Tyneside hospital, Ale is today on the road to recovery.

dad Wayne Pennington, 52, said: "e transplant was life-saving for Ale, and incredible for our family."

Ale, of Consett, is believed to have suered from the little-known condition Fanconi anaemia (FA), a rare genetic disease, since birth.

He had his rst operation at just eight days, his second at 14 days, on his bowel, and then was diagnosed with hip displasia at four months, resulting in numerous operations.

But it was not until a year and a half ago Ale was nally diagnosed with FA.

e condition is the result of a genetic defect in a cluster of proteins responsible for DNA repair. As a result, the majority of suerers develop cancer, most often acute myelogenous leukaemia, and 90% develop bone marrow failure. Ale was immediately put onto the Anthony Nolan register and the search began to nd the youngster a suitable bone marrow donor.

and the search began to nd the youngster a suitable bone marrow donor.

Wayne, who had to give up his job as a taxi driver to look after his son, said: "Incredibly, we did not have to wait too long and were told a matching donor had Wayne, who had to give up his job as a taxi driver to look after his son, said: "Incredibly, we did not have to wait too long and were told a matching donor had been found in Norway. e relief was incredible, but we knew Ale faced a long ght ahead."

" Following the transplant, the schoolboy was put into the isolation unit on Wardree of the Great North Children's Hospital at the Royal Victoria Inrmary in Newcastle where he spent the next eight weeks.

Wayne, married to Crystal, 35, said: "It was quite scary to see all the gowns and scrubs in the ward and my wife and I would take turns staying with him.

"e sta were absolutely incredible and we could not have asked for more support from them."

Slowly Ale, who had lost all his hair, began to recover and he is now returning to being the little boy he once was.

Wayne said: "He's slowly been reintroduced to the world and it's all coming back to him now, that cheeky smile."

Crystal added: "He loves computer games, playing in the woods, cuddly toys, being outside, cuddles, kisses and annoying his brother.

"He has a heart of gold, a spirited nature and the characteristics to ght any battle he comes across in life. …

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