Birmingham & Black Country

Ryan Brookhouse's parents want baby organs rule change

A couple from Wolverhampton whose son needs a heart transplant is calling for the rules on organ donation from newborn babies who die to be changed.

An air-driven pump device is being used to keep six month-old Ryan Brookhouse alive while he waits for a donor.

Current UK rules prevent children under two months from being an organ donor.

Ryan's father Gary Brookhouse said the wait had been "a strain". The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health is conducting a review into the rules.

Ryan, who was born with an enlarged heart, is currently undergoing treatment at a specialist unit at the Freeman hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

He is awaiting a replacement heart from France or Italy, where the rules on transplants are different.

The Brookhouse family are living in Newcastle-upon-Tyne near to the Freeman hospital

"We're taking each day it comes, we're trying not to think too much about that heart and getting our hopes up because we don't want to send ourselves crazy," said Mr Brookhouse.

"The staff have been brilliant but we do wish we were at home spending time with Ryan and our other son, Harley."

A report, published in Archives of Disease in Childhood, says bringing UK rules into line with Europe, Australia and the US would transform care.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health is reviewing the science behind the guidelines and is due to report in summer 2014.

"I find it really shocking because I didn't even know they had these rules," said Ryan's mother, Kaylee Hickman.

"They could save so many more babies' lives by changing the rules.

"We have been here so long. By now Ryan could have had a heart and been at home enjoying life."

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