Six-year-old Honey back with friends after life-saving bone marrow transplant from her three-year-old brother
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Little Honey Goodwin has new hope for the future after a bone marrow transplant.
And she has her three-year-old brother to thank for the donation which put her on the road to recovery from a life-threatening genetic condition.
The Thetford six-year-old has chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) – an illness which means her immune system does not fight bacterial or fungal infections – and has been undergoing treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Sufferers of the disease are normally not expected to reach adulthood, with the illness meaning they are unable to touch a list of everyday objects, including cut grass, mushrooms, straw, flowers and even tap water.
Two of her siblings, seven-year-old Alex and one-year-old Winter, also have CGD – but Hunter, three, has avoided the illness.
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And according to Honey's father, Gary Goodwin, Hunter could be called upon to donate bone marrow again for his older brother, who also suffers from the disease.
But for now the family is delighted with Honey's progress.
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'Honey suffered for about a year with the illness and had all kinds of complications, and the GPs did not know what it was,' said Mr Goodwin.
'She was diagnosed at Great Ormond Street, but when I carried her in there I didn't think she would be coming back out. You are thinking 'children don't come here to get better', so to get her out and have her in school seeing her friends is a blessing.'
Honey visited Raleigh Infant School as guest of honour – but because she is also unable to be in large groups at the moment, her visit saw her waving through a window to friends.
Honey must now continue taking medication, but it is hoped she will back at school by April.
CGD is usually passed on to children through genes in parents' DNA, with only one in 200,000 affected.
But, against the odds, Honey's parents, Mr Goodwin, 34, and Danielle Smith, 26, are both carriers of the gene, despite neither having experienced symptoms.
Honey and Winter are even more unlikely sufferers of CGD, with girls making up only 15pc of cases.
Honey's school visit was completed by a donation of £350 from the school to Great Ormond Street, handed over by headteacher, Daphne Rothwell.
Have you got a story from the Thetford area? Email reporter Andrew Fitchett at firstname.lastname@example.org