A TEENAGER whose only hope of a cure from a rare illness was to have a bone marrow transplant has been allowed to return home.
Ethan Greenwood, 14, had been away from home for months after his transplant at the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle but still has to be kept in isolation to reduce the risk of infection.
He still has to have regular hospital check-ups both at Leeds and in Newcastle but his family are happy with his progress so far.
“He has now been kept away from his school and friends for over six months, so we are hoping over the next few months his cell count will increase sufficiently enough to allowed him to have a bit of normality in his life and to get back to being a teenager again,” said his mother Sharon Greenwood, 45, of Fieldhead Drive, Guiseley.
She also said the family will keep up its fundraising for the charity that helped them and made it possible for her to stay by her son’s side while he was being treated.
So far Ethan and his army of wellwishers have raised more than £6,000 for the Bubble Foundation UK, which supports the work of the unit where he had his transplant specialising in treating immune deficiencies and autoimmune disorders.
He needed the bone marrow transplant because the life-threatening condition, so rare doctors could not name it, was attacking his stomach, pancreas, liver, spleen and both his lungs.
Mrs Greenwood said: “The support they provided Ethan and our family during the last six months has been invaluable, from providing accommodation so I could stay near Ethan to ensuring Ethan had everything he needed to help keep him occupied while he is in isolation.
“His immune cell count is still very low which means he still has to be kept in isolation to protect him from catching any viruses or infections. He has to attend Leeds General infirmary weekly for blood tests and return to Newcastle every two weeks to be reviewed.”