Teenager’s lifesaving op for brother

Reporter:

Matt Jones

A schoolgirl is to donate bone marrow to her brother in a potentially life-saving transplant.

Jordan Giddins, 13, will get the transplant from 16-year-old Bethany in a two-hour procedure on Saturday.

Jordan, of Pwll y Hwyaden, Flint, needs the operation following a relapse of a rare form of blood disease that affects one in every million. Bethany is set to donate her bone marrow at Alder Hey children’s hospital in Liverpool today.

At the end of 2009, Jordan was diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a potentially fatal disease which can lead to death within two months if not treated.

It left Jordan in intensive care before a 10-month course of chemotherapy.

He had recovered from the disease and was in remission since September last year.

Mum Mandy Giddins, a specialist urology nurse at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, said: “Jordan’s symptoms came back in June and it was confirmed the disease had returned.

“He started gruelling chemotherapy again and medication. The only cure now is a bone marrow transplant.

“We are obviously devastated. Jordan and Bethany are both remarkable children who are an inspiration to others, but we have a very difficult time ahead.”

She added: “Bethany has seen her brother ill for so long, she just wants him well.

We are so proud of them both. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us.”

After the operation Jordan will spend five weeks in isolation before the marrow can take effect and then a further six months in semi-isolation at home.

Mandy said: “The doctors say there is a 99 per cent chance of success.

“It will take up to a year but they do not think the disease will come back.

“While in isolation at home, he won’t be able to go to the cinema, go to school, see his friends or eat takeaways. It is going to be quite rough for him.”

It took doctors more than eight weeks to make Jordan’s original HLH diagnosis.

The Flint High School student, who at one point was taking up to 40 tablets a day, all with side effects, took a year off school.

While in remission Jordan, a Manchester City football fan, was back at school and even resumed training with his football team, Shotton Steel. Bethany completed her last set of GCSE exams just days before her brother’s relapse.

She was awarded 11 passes and her parents were delighted with her achievements despite her brother’s illness.

Their father Paul works at Airbus in Broughton.

Before Jordan fell ill again, Mandy and 14 friends held a 10-mile charity walk from Prestatyn to Rhyl to raise money for Alder Hey Hospital and children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent.

She said: “We had a great day and Jordan even joined us half way. “People were very generous en route and we collected £158 in the collection buckets alone.

“Altogether we raised £1,200, which is brilliant.”

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/mandy-giddins.
 

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