Aillidh Kinnaird, an eight-year-old girl from Cowal Peninsula in Argyll, underwent stem cells transplant harvested from umbilical cord to help cure her of Acute Myloid Leukemia. This form of cancer is very rare and dangerous. The procedure took place earlier this May and lasted for an hour.
Aillidh was diagnosed of leukemia November of last year. Her family immediately looked for a bone marrow donor after no matches were found in their family circle. The stem cells transplant was the first in Scotland wherein the name of the patient was revealed. The stem cells were donated by an anonymous person in America whom the family can contact through Anthony Nolan Trust after a year. The mother donor’s umbilical cord was frozen in a laboratory prior to harvesting the stem cells.
After the procedure, Aillidh has to stay at Yorkhill hospital in Glasgow. She is confined in the isolation ward to avoid the risk of infection. Her immune system is very low after the transplant and only doctors and her parents can visit her in the ward. According to his father, doctors are conducting blood tests everyday. Her recovery is a gradual process and it will take time before she’ll be released from the hospital.
According to blood expert Guy Pearce, umbilical cord blood transplants started in UK in 2003 and so far, two patients from Scotland underwent the procedure. He added that survival rates for children are good but it depends on several factors.