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Mother's desperate donor plea to save her son's life

PUBLISHED: 18:21 14 May 2008 | UPDATED: 09:10 12 August 2010

Appeal: Jamie needs a donor

Appeal: Jamie needs a donor

THE mother of a critically ill nine-year-old boy is appealing for bone marrow donors to save her son s life. Jamie Zammit has Danconi Anaemia, a very rare form of the genetically inherited disease which affects only 11 children in the UK and which can b

THE mother of a critically ill nine-year-old boy is appealing for bone marrow donors to save her son's life.

Jamie Zammit has Danconi Anaemia, a very rare form of the genetically inherited disease which affects only 11 children in the UK and which can be fatal. Since being diagnosed in 2005, he has suffered three years of hospital visits, severe fatigue, bone scans and blood transfusions.

His mother, Donna Zammit, 36, of Chatterton Road, Bromley, said: "I can't put into words how it felt when I found out. I carried this child, I brought him into the world, I'm absolutely devastated.

"But I try to not to think about it too much, if I do I'll get ill and then I won't be able to take care of my family. He keeps saying to me, 'will I be alright' 'and 'why me?'"

Full-time mother Mrs Zammit has four other children. The youngest, Donatella, is just three months old and was conceived in the hope that she might be a match for Jamie but she was not compatible.

Mrs Zammit said: "Obviously we were very disappointed but of course she is loved just as much as all my other children.

"Taking care of Jamie is a 24-hour job. His immune system is very low, he is like a sheet of glass, I'm constantly worried about him. I take his temperature during the night and we can't go to crowded places in case of infection.

"But he has been incredibly brave considering all he has been through and he's got a fantastic sense of humour which is the only thing that's got him through all this."

At just nine years old, Jamie has already gone through puberty because of steroid medication which his mother says makes him feel insecure and vulnerable.

But despite feeling constantly tired, Jamie still attends school full time.

The family is now holding a special event at Jamie's school for people to take a compatibility test to see if they are a suitable match and to join a bone marrow register.

Mrs Zammit said: "First and foremost this is for Jamie but if we can help other people that's brilliant.

"It would be like winning the lottery a million times over if we found a donor. All our worries would be gone. I know there is a lifeline out there for Jamie, we just need to find it."

The event is run in conjunction with bone marrow transplant charity The Antony Nolan Trust and takes place between 4 and 8pm on May 20 at Princes Plain Primary School, Church Lane, Bromley.

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