by MARY MAGEE
|Jodie Fletcher who was given a beauty treatment before she flew out to London for the bone marrow transplant procedure.||Adam and Jodie Fletcher and Adam and Brian Kerr at Glentoran. Adam Fletcher and Adam and Brian Kerr were selected to be mascots.|
AS Moira schoolboy Joshua Fletcher celebrated his eighth birthday last Wednesday, he got the best present ever from his little sister Jodie - bone marrow for a life saving transplant.
Four-year-old Jodie is Joshua's so called Saviour Sibling. Joshua suffers from Diamond Blackfan Anaemia and the transplant from his sister took place at St. Mary's Hospital in London.
Doctors will know within in the next few days whether the procedure has worked. Jodie flew to London with her grandmother and auntie and just before the procedure at 9am last Wednesday morning she handed Joshua 4I handmade birthday cards from all his friends P4 and his teacher at Meadowbridge Primary School.
Friends say that though it is too early to say whether the operation has worked everything is going 'according to plan'.
Joshua was diagnosed with the condition when he was just six weeks old and at the time his parents Joe and Julie were told that the only chance for survival would be a bone marrow transplant. As older brother Adam was not a match his parents were told that an exact match would have to be created in order for Joshua to survive.
His parents went through a battle with the HFEA to allow them to go through the procedure of selected embryo to conceive a saviour sibling for Joshua. Jodie was born on July 2005 and last summer Joshua was told that due to the overload on his liver it was now time for the bone marrow transplant to take place.
Friend Gaye Kerr said Joshua is continuing to be monitored regularly but that he still had a long road to recovery.
"At present all is going according to plan and Josh continues to be monitored on a regular basis," she said. "He has been unable to keep food down and has now a feeding tube in place to help keep his body weight up.
"Hopefully over the next few days, although he will become increasingly unwell, Jodie's bone marrow will start to work.
"Josh will continue to receive small quantities of chemotherapy to suppress his own bone marrow to enable Jodie's to take over. "Prayers for the Fletcher Family continue in the schools and churches in the Moira area, and we continue to send Josh our love and best wishes for the months ahead."
|Joshua Fletcher and Brian Kerr with the principal of Meadowbridge Primary School, Mr Good.||Joshua and Brian Kerr at the tree planting ceremony at Meadowbridge Primary School.|
BEFORE leaving for his bone marrow transplant last week at St Mary's Hospital in London, Brian Kerr and Joshua Fletcher attended a tree planting ceremony at their school, Meadowbridge Primary.
At the ceremony were principal Mr. Good and Mr Stanton Sloan Chief Executive of SEELB.
On Saturday Jodie Fletcher was treated to a day at a beauty salon.
Also on Saturday Adam Fletcher and Adam and Brian Kerr were selected to be mascots for Glentoran.
This was the same day as the two Adams achieved the Band I in the new AQE exams so there was a great day of celebrations for all the four kids ending with a lovely meal in Pizzareillys.