David was born without an immune system and needed a bone marrow transplant if he was to survive. We were devastated. His body was defenseless and could not fight any infections. At that time, the odds of surviving a bone marrow transplant were only 50:50.
No one in our family was a suitable match for a transplant so David was put on a bone marrow transplant list and we waited for a suitable donor to be found. As David had no immune system he was put into strict isolation at the hospital. Only my wife and I were allowed into the isolation room. No other visitors were permitted. Each time before we entered David’s room we had to scrub our hands, wear masks, gloves, gowns, a cap and boots to cover our shoes. All of these precautions were necessary to protect David from infection. Even a common cold could be fatal.
Every day while we waited for a donor we feared that David would acquire an infection that might take his life. Seven months passed while David was in isolation. Finally a suitable donor was found and David was transplanted with his new bone marrow.
Over the next few weeks David’s health improved as his new immune system developed. Three months after his bone marrow transplant David came home. This was one of the happiest days of our lives. David had survived the odds. David is now a healthy, thriving boy who lives a normal, active life.
In 1992 when David was diagnosed many genes for SCIDS had not been discovered and little was known about SCIDS. Today with gene identification for SCIDS and improved diagnosis and treatment the survival odds for transplants are about 85%.