Co Down schoolboy Adam ‘doing well’ after life-saving leukaemia treatment

A brave Banbridge schoolboy has given the thumbs up to his friends and family back home as he recovers from a cord blood transplant.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 3:21 pm
Adam Watson after his cord blood transplant

Eight-year-old Adam Watson, who was diagnosed with leukaemia in October 2019, underwent the procedure in the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital last week and according to his dad, David, is doing well.

“He developed a sore mouth and throat, which is one of the side effects of the chemo, but up until this he’s been in good spirits. He’s been doing really well.”

Adam had been in remission for 10 months but, during a routine blood check last December, the family were dealt the devastating news that his leukaemia had returned.

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David Watson, with his son Adam and wife Sara

“The plan was that Adam would go to Bristol for a bone marrow transplant,” said David.

“But because he didn’t hit the remission target it wasn’t a possibility, and we were running out of options.

“By chance, Adam’s consultant had been chatting to a world-renowned professor in Glasgow, who put us in contact with Professor Rob Wynn who specialises in cord blood transplants and he agreed to do the procedure.”

Cord blood is the blood that remains in the placenta and umbilical cord following the birth of a baby. It is rich in blood stem cells and these can be used to treat many different diseases.

David said the transplant went well, but added: “To hear your child has leukaemia once, then to hear it’s come back again - I think the second time was probably harder for me to accept than the first time.”

And he described his only child as “incredible”.

“He’s a great patient, even the nurses will say he never complains.”

David also expressed his thanks to everyone who has been there for the family.

“The level of support and prayers that has been sent out to us has been incredible and humbling for me and Sara.”

He added the couple want to encourage people to consider blood and platelet donations.

“Adam’s blood group changed. He was 0 positive when he was born and then it changed to B positive. I got a friend to do up a logo ‘Be Positive’. We want to encourage people that whatever situation you are facing in life to be positive.

“We’ll eventually set up a Facebook page and encourage people to look at things like blood donations and platelet donations. Because Adam got this cord blood transplant, we want to really push that because you can’t actually get it in Northern Ireland unless you go private.”