Girl, 6, in hospital for transplant operation

Lydia (aged 2), Lana (aged 6), Julia (mother) and Lexi (aged 4) have been confined to their house since November to avoid the risk of infection.
Lydia (aged 2), Lana (aged 6), Julia (mother) and Lexi (aged 4) have been confined to their house since November to avoid the risk of infection.

­The mother of a six-year-old girl about to undergo a bone marrow transplant has been “blown away” by the support her family has received.

The mother of a six-year-old girl about to undergo a bone marrow transplant has been “blown away” by the support her family has received.

Lana Donaldson of Chirnside has been admitted to Glasgow’s Yorkhill Hospital, where she will begin four days of chemotherapy treatment tomorrow in preparation for her transplant next week. Two-year-sister Lydia will be her donor.

Since being diagnosed with a rare and life-threatening blood disorder in November, Lana and her family have been confined to their house and the hospital to minimise the risk of infection.

Although dad Wayne is still working, mum Julia, Lana and little sisters Lexi and Lydia have all had to avoid human contact by staying in the house when not in hospital. Lana’s grandmother has moved in to help.

When seriousness of her condition became clear, friends of the family in the Chirnside area started raising funds to help meet the cost of expenses.

The family have been spending more than £100 a week on fuel travelling to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, where Lana has been undergoing a blood transfusion three times a week.

But nearly £4,000 has been raised so far. Lana’s mum, Julia, has been overwhelmed by the generosity. She said: “It has been unbelievable. We’ve been unable to attend any events. But we’ve just been blown away as a family by the kind gestures made by so many people.”

Lana has aplastic anaemia, a rare condition in which the body’s bone marrow fails to produce enough new blood cells. Only 30 to 40 children are diagnosed each year in the UK.

There is a 95 per cent survival rate for those who have a successful transplant.

“The next four weeks pose the biggest risk,” Julia added. “Lana will be in strict isolation at Yorkhill.” Mum and daughter will be there for up to three months, after which there will be follow-up appointments two or three times a week for the rest of the year. If all goes well, Lana would thenbe monitored for another two years.

“Lana is bright and bubbly. She has been upbeat about it,” added Julia. “Like any child of that age, she asks questions, but we have been totally honest with her. I don’t think she understands that it could kill her because she has no real concept of death. We have told her that her blood factory is not working and that it needs to be fixed.”