Surgeon at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital appeals to strangers to save his young daughter’s life
PUBLISHED: 08:30 30 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:46 02 November 2020
A surgeon at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital is appealing for help in saving the life of his young daughter, who has been diagnosed with a life-threatening condition.
Geraint Lloyd – who has been a consultant general, colorectal and laparoscopic surgeon at Lister since 2011 – was told in July that his daughter Arya, 11, has aplastic anaemia. It is a blood disorder which causes the body to stop producing new blood cells needed to carry oxygen, prevent infection and stop bleeding.
Arya is in desperate need of a blood stem cell transplant to give her a second chance of life, but nobody in her family is a match, so they are relying on a complete stranger to save her life.
The search to find this stranger is made even more challenging because Arya is of mixed heritage, being half Indian and half Caucasian. Arya’s best chance of a match is from someone of Indian or mixed Indian/Caucasian origin.
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Arya’s mum, Brundha, and Geraint are appealing for more people to register as potential blood stem cell donors, especially people of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. By requesting a home swab kit from the charity DKMS, a match for Arya may be found.
People of BAME backgrounds have just a 20 per cent chance of finding the best possible stem cell donor match, compared to 69 per cent for northern European backgrounds.
Brundha said: “Prior to her diagnosis, Arya was fit and healthy. She loved to play sport and is very athletic. She swam, ran 100-metre sprints, played netball and hockey, and was always on the trampoline. Her zest for life was infectious.”
Geraint said: “There is someone out there who is a match with Arya. By having more people from a diverse range of backgrounds on the register, Arya and countless others may be able to find that all-important match. They may be in the UK, USA, India or another country. We just need people to come forward and join the DKMS stem cell register. It is really straightforward to do and you could help save the life of someone like Arya.”
Despite Arya’s life-changing diagnosis, she remains positive and is hopeful a matching donor will be found.
For more information and to register as a potential donor, visit dkms.org.uk.
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