My baby brother's the best: Toddler with leukaemia could be saved by Samuel's birth after parents harvest stem cells
Stem cells harvested from an infant’s umbilical cord may be used to save the life of the baby’s brother who is suffering from cancer.
Nathan Shorey, 3, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2010 and may need a stem cell transplant if his condition deteriorates.
The stem cells from the umbilical cord of his younger brother, Samuel, were tested and found to be a match.
Lifesafer: Toddler Samuel Shorey may be the key to saving the life of three-year-old brother Nathan
Parents Melanie, 34, and Michael, 36, now hope the stem cells can be used to treat Nathan’s condition.
Melanie, an admin clerk from Ellington, Northumberland, said: ‘When we were told Nathan had leukaemia, it was heartbreaking.
‘As soon as you hear the word leukaemia, you fear the worst.
‘Nathan is currently doing well and I do try to remain positive, but there is the worry in the back of my mind that his condition could relapse.
Hearbreaking: Mother Melanie Shorey was devastated to hear her son was diagnosed with cancer
‘Samuel's stem cells have been tested and are a match for Nathan so can be used if needed.’
Melanie said she was delighted to have another baby and Samuel was a great addition to the family.
The mother-of-four said: ‘Nathan absolutely loves Samuel and there is a special bond between them.
‘The chance of Nathan relapsing is thought to be low, but when I found out that stem cells could be taken from the umbilical cord I felt it was the right thing to do.’
Nathan was taken to Wansbeck General Hospital after his mother noticed a rash on his thighs and arms.
He had a blood test and stayed overnight before being transferred to North Tyneside General Hospital where he was diagnosed with leukaemia.
For the first six months after his diagnosis, the nursery pupil was in hospital for the majority of the time.
However, he is now doing well and has 19 months of maintenance chemotherapy remaining at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary.