Baby Luna airlifted from Cork to England for treatment

Fiona Burns from Cobh is currently in the UK where her four-month-old Luna is receiving treatment at the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle
Baby Luna airlifted from Cork to England for treatment

Four month old Luna. Pic: Luna's mom Fiona Burns

A CORK mother of a baby with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) has spoken of the emotional journey to get her daughter the care she needs.

Fiona Burns from Cobh is currently in the UK where her four-month-old Luna is receiving treatment at the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle.

Speaking to Neil Prendeville on RedFM, Ms Burns explained that her daughter’s rare genetic disorder means she has no immune system and she cannot make the white blood cells to fight off any infection.

Initially when in Cork University Hospital (CUH), Ms Burns was told her daughter would be moved to Crumlin Hospital and having spent some time in Crumlin, she was transferred to Newcastle, which Ms Burns said felt “very sudden” as they thought they’d have more time in Ireland than what they had.

The Great North Children’s Hospital is one of only two units in the entire UK and Ireland that perform the bone marrow transplants for children who were born with severe immune deficiencies.

Ms Burns said that one of the most upsetting things was finding out that she was not a match and was not able to donate bone marrow to Luna as she wanted to “do that one little thing for her”.

Ms Burns flew by air ambulance to Newcastle with Luna and will stay with her for what they think will be about six months while Chris remains at home with their other two children, visiting when he can.

She said that the hospital is working urgently to get the bone marrow to get the transplant done and that she needs chemotherapy before the transplant “to wipe out the little cells she has already because they could fight the bone marrow following the transplant”.

A GoFundMe has been set up on behalf of the family to raise funds for the cost of travel, the cost of accommodation, food, and nappies and so on for the amount of time that Ms Burns is expected to be in Newcastle, as well as anything else that the family needs during this time.

Those who wish to make a donation can do so by visiting www.gofundme.com/f/support-little-lunas-scid-journey.

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