Boy, 8, with a rare autoimmune condition is hailed as ‘brave and amazing’ by This Morning viewers after ‘defying all odds’ to successfully recover from a life-saving stem cell transplant from a stranger in Brazil
- Finley Hill, Worcestershire, has Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH)
- Had ‘intense chemotherapy’ in November before life-saving stem cell transplant
- Mother Jo appeared on This Morning today to tell her son has ‘defied all odds’
An eight-year-old boy with a rare immune condition has ‘defied all odds’ and finished his treatment after a life-saving stem cell transplant.
Finley Hill, from Worcestershire, who suffers from Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), was released from hospital shortly before lockdown, after a man in Brazil donated lifesaving bone marrow.
Appearing on This Morning today, his mother Jo told how after going into hospital in late November for chemotherapy to strip Finley of his immune system, he was given the new set of cells in December.
Viewers quickly took to Twitter to praise Finley, hailing him ‘brave and amazing’ and insisting they’re ‘so pleased’ Finley has been discharged from hospital after a successful operation.
Finley Hill, from Worcestershire, who suffers from Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), underwent a life-saving stem cell transplant. He is pictured in December undergoing the transplant
Appearing on This Morning today, his mother Jo (pictured) told how after going into hospital in late November for Chemotherapy to strip Finley of his immune system, he had the ‘hardest two weeks’ of his treatment
Jo explained that the following two weeks were the hardest for Finley, telling: ‘He couldn’t speak. He had ulcers going down his throat and felt rubbish, as you would if you have no immune system.
‘And he just started to get stronger and stronger and defied all odds, and by day 31 they were discharging us, which is crazy. ‘
On January 7th, Finley rang the hospital’s bell to signify end of his treatment and speaking of the moment, he said: ‘[It’s] amazing, that I’m discharged and I don’t have to stay in hospital for nights’.
The emotional interview struck a chord with viewers, who quickly took to Twitter to praise Finley, with one writing: What a brave and amazing little boy’.
Viewers quickly took to Twitter to praise Finley, hailing him ‘brave and amazing’ and insisting they’re ‘so pleased’ Finley has been discharged from hospital
‘He is just the sweetest kid, so pleased he’s doing well,’ said another.
A third agreed: ‘Brave little man. Finley, you should be proud of yourself.’
Finley’s disorder causes the immune system to overreact, leading to inflammation and damage to tissues such as the liver, spleen and brain.
He had a very slim chance of finding a match for a live-saving stem cell transplant with only two per cent of the UK on the donor register.
But after doctors in Birmingham ‘searched the world’ and ‘searched it again’, Finley and the family appeared on the show last year to reveal a match had been located in Brazil.
On January 7th, Finley rang the hospital’s bell to signify end of his treatment and he told hosts Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield (both pictured) it was ‘amazing’ being discharged
WHAT IS HLH?
Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocystosis – or HLH – is a rare autoimmune disease that usually occurs in young children.
There are two types of the condition: familial and acquired.
- Enlargement of the liver
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Rashes and jaundice
- Coughing and difficulty breathing
- Stomachaches, vomiting and diarrhea
- Headaches, trouble walking, visual disturbances, and weakness
HLH can be treated through chemotherapy, immunotherapy, steroids and antibiotics.
If these forms of treatment fail, patients may need to undergo a stem cell transplant.
Speaking of the doner today, Fin’s mother said: ‘It was a mixture of relief and feeling really scared. Because we knew the next few months would be really tricky for Fin and that it wasn’t going to be an easy process.
‘But it was a massive relief and we were so happy that man got on that register and was there waiting ready for our boy.’
‘Because he was asked for his bone marrow, not his stem cells, he had to have an operation which is unusual in this day.
After the successful transplant, Fin now has reduced his hospital visits and his mother says his health is going ‘in the right direction’
‘But they felt it would give Fin his best chance and he did it and he doesn’t even know who he is.’
After the successful transplant, Fin now has reduced his hospital visits and his mother says his health is going ‘in the right direction’.
She told: ‘At the moment, we still go to hospital to get Fin’s bloods and we’ve just gone down to fortnightly.
‘We were there weekly and not that long ago we were going twice a week, but because his levels are really steady, they’ve allowed us to go fortnightly which is a big step in the right direction.’
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