Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Mother appeals for stem cells for dying daughter Ava Stark

Ava Stark

A mother has appealed for people to get tested for stem cell donation after her three-year-old daughter lost out on a life-saving transplant for the second time in four months.

Ava Stark, from Lochgelly in Fife, was just 24 hours from the operation when her family was told the donor had to pull out for medical reasons.

Ava has a rare blood disorder and will die without a stem cell transplant.

The donor has to be a 10 out of 10 identical genetic markers match.

Family 'devastated'

Her mother Marie is urging people to have a simple test to find out if they can help save her daughter's life.

A previous search of the 25 million donors on the global register following Ava's diagnosis in April with inherited bone marrow failure revealed just one match.

The donor agreed to help Ava with the operation scheduled for July but was later unable to go ahead.

The family were relieved when a second match was found and were due to take Ava to hospital in Glasgow on Tuesday to get ready for her transplant.

But they were "devastated" when doctors said the new donor had to pull out just hours before due to medical reasons.

'Gift of life'

Ms Stark, 33, told the Daily Record: "Because of the way the system works and the rules in place, we don't get to find out any more information than that but they could have had a heart attack or a stroke or anything.

"The hospital are going to check the registry again to see if there are any more 10 out of 10 matches. They will let me know within 48 hours. Until then, I've got to keep Ava in isolation at home.

"Ava needs a transplant to save her life and Christmas is fast approaching, so I want to ask anyone who hasn't been tested to give Ava the gift of life. I can't lose my little girl, she means everything to our family."

Any relatively healthy adult aged between 16 and 30 can sign up for the painless test through the Anthony Nolan Trust while older donors can register through Delete Blood Cancer, which takes people aged 17-55.

Related Topics

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites